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Pope offers Ramadan message, prays for peace in Iraq

.- At the conclusion of the Angelus prayer this Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI offered a greeting to the world’s Muslims, at the conclusion of the season of Ramadan.  The Holy Father also invited all to pray for peace in Iraq.

The Pope announced, before the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square, his "cordial greeting to Muslims all over the world who, during these days, are celebrating the end of the month of fasting of Ramadan.”

“To all of them,” Pope Benedict said, “my best wishes for serenity and peace.”
 
However, he noted, "in dramatic contrast to this climate of joy, is the news coming from Iraq of the grave situation of insecurity and of the pitiless violence to which so many innocents are exposed, simply for being Shias, Sunnis, or Christians.”
 
"I am aware of the great concern being felt by the Christian community, and wish to give assurances of my closeness to them, as to all the victims, asking that strength and consolation be granted to everyone.”
 
"I invite you," he concluded, "to join me in my plea to the Almighty that He may give the necessary faith and courage to religious and political leaders, both locally and all over the world, to support (the Iraqi) people on the road of rebuilding their homeland, in their search for a shared equilibrium, with mutual respect, and an awareness that the multiplicity of (the country's) components is an integral part of its wealth."

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