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Historic First: Islamic Prayers Held at the Vatican

09-08-2014
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Muslim prayers and Koran readings were held at the Vatican for the first time in history on Sunday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres joined Pope Francis in the Vatican gardens for a prayer meeting.

Jewish, Christian, and Muslim prayers were all offered in an "Invocation for Peace." The Patriarch of Constantinople, Barholomew I, also attended.

Pope Francis said he hopes his prayer summit with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders will help bring peace in the Middle East.

"It is my hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of a new journey where we seek the things that unite, so as to overcome the things that divide," he said.

Francis said too many children have been killed by war and the memory of those innocent deaths should instill courage, strength, and patience to work for peaceful dialogue.

"Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict," Francis said.

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