Cooperation among believers grows in Albania after decades of brutal persecution, Pope notes

“We must never become resigned to war,” Pope Francis insisted in a message to a conference organized by the Sant’Egidio community. “And we must not remain indifferent to those who suffer as a result of war and violence.”

The Pope’s message welcomed the Sant’Egidio event, an interfaith meeting which is being held this week in Tirana, Albania. He remarked that “we are increasingly aware of the need for the followers of different religions to meet, to engage in dialogue, to journey together and to collaborate for peace.”

The choice of Tirana as the site for the meeting is significant, the Pope said, because the Albanian capital city “has become a symbol of the peaceful cohabitation of different religions, after a long history of suffering.” He recalled that he had chosen Albania as the destination for his first European trip outside Italy for similar reasons, “to encourage the path of peaceful coexistence after the tragic persecutions suffered by Albanian believers during the last century.”


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