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Pope seeks religious liberty

Pope Benedict called on Islamic countries in the Middle East yesterday to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims and said peace in the region was the best remedy for a worrying exodus of Christians.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict called on Islamic countries in the Middle East yesterday to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims and said peace in the region was the best remedy for a worrying exodus of Christians.

He made his appeal at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, ending a two-week Vatican summit of bishops from the Middle East, whose final document criticized Israel and urged the Jewish state to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.

In his sermon at the gathering’s ceremonial end, the pope said freedom of religion was “one of the fundamental human rights that each state should always respect.”

 
 
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