Pope Francis hails Albania as model of religious harmony in attack on religious extremism
Pope Francis condemns the “distortion and manipulation” of religious belief by extremist groups
During his one day visit to Albania. During his visit he stated that the tiny Balkan nation was a model of religious harmony. The pope said that nobody should use God as a shield with which to justify acts of violence and oppression. The visit to Albania is his first European trip outside of Italy and the first to a Muslim majority country. The Pope said that “authentic religious spirit is being perverted” in many parts of the world and that “religious differences are being distorted and manipulated”. This Leeds to conflict and violence said the pope, while also giving his conditional approval to United States air strikes against Isil extremists. The Vatican has said that the pope wanted to visit Albania to highlight the harmony between Christians and Muslims while the extremist groups are twisting the religious belief and killing the innocent civilians. It was also desire to visit the neglected “peripheries” of the world which is one of the themes of his papacy. The pope has also expressed concerns that the Christian communities that have co-existed in the Middle East for 2000 years may be in danger of being destroyed. The estimated amount of people that greeted the pope was about 250, 000 in the capital of Albania called Tirana. Albania was an atheist state under Hoxha and had many of its religious structures and worship sites destroyed. There were also over 40 religious clergy members that were murdered or died in labour camps during the regime that are depicted along the Martyrs of the Nation Boulevard.
The ways the pope is visiting all these smaller countries and highlighting to the world how many different faiths and religions can co-exist together is a very moving thing for any religious leader to do because it shows religious tolerance and examples of how it can be accomplished while also giving an economic boost to some of the smaller countries that many popes haven’t visited. The use of violence and persecution of religious faiths has a long history and has been used in almost all religions to remove or silence opposition to any leader’s viewpoints. Probably the most well-known religious persecutions are the story of Jesus and the crucifixion which was roman persecution of the Jewish faith. The other more recent history is the Holocaust that the Nazis in World War 2 perpetrated. The Nazi persecution of the Jewish faith and people is one of the most horrendous secular persecutions that are documented in history. While many other religious atrocities are based on ethnic differences or language barriers or just plain being different the holocaust has shown the world one of the worst examples. The other horrible persecution that many individuals know about is the ethnocide in Uganda which was also partially religious in nature.