Pope Francis acted his crusade of tolerance and peace among world religions, when he took part in a Muslim prayer in Instabul, Turkey.
The pope, on the second of his three-day trip to the predominantly Muslim country, was seen bow his head, his hands clasped before him, in a symbolic Muslim prayer that lasted two minutes. He prayed, alongside the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, inside the 17th-century Sultan Ahmet mosque. Yaran later took the pope round the historic blue mosque and took time to explain some verses of the holy quran to him.
The Pope’s action, according to the Vatican spokesman, Reverend Federico Lombardi was a moment of “silent adoration.” Lombardi, who is on Francis’ entourage, said he (Pope) twice told the mufti they must “adore” God and not just praise and glorify him. Francis’ visit to Turkey was the second by a head of the Catholic Church, after pope Benedict XVI did in 2006. On the first day of his visit, Francis was given an extravagant state reception by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at his expansive luxury presidential palace.
The pope also met the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Patriach Bartholomew I of Constantinople and scheduled to meet the country’s minute Catholic Community.