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Pope Francis leaves for a visit to Egypt in an effort to mend ties

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 01:11

Pope Francis has departed for a two-day visit to Egypt but faces criticism from church conservatives for meeting Islamic religious leaders after a spate of deadly attacks against Christians. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Pope Francis departed Rome on Friday (April 28) for a two-day trip to Egypt hoping to mend ties with Islamic religious leaders. His message of peace comes as Egypt's Coptic Christian community faces unprecedented pressure from Islamic State militants who have threatened to wipe it out. Security on the trip is a primary concern less than three weeks after 45 people were killed in attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and Tanta, claimed by Islamic State, on Palm Sunday (April 9). But Francis has insisted on using an ordinary car during his 27 hours in Cairo, continuing his practice of shunning armoured limousines in order to be closer to people. Francis will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi; Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the world's most influential centre of Sunni Islamic theology and learning; and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who barely escaped the Alexandria bombing.

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Pope Francis leaves for a visit to Egypt in an effort to mend ties

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 01:11