[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”LcAe7dskUSJMo7PgSUNHfqFBTOtCvYer”]Pope Francis has expressed hope that the January elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) would open a “new chapter” for the country.
The Pope was speaking after arriving the nation’s capital, Bangui, which was the his first visit to a conflict zone.
CAR has been torn apart by violence between Muslim rebels and Christian militias.
In an address at the Presidential Palace, Pope Francis called for unity and admonished citizens to avoid the ethnic, religious and political hostility.
Acting President, Catherine Samba-Panza, asked the Holy Father for forgiveness for the country’s recent religious violence.
During the visit, the pontiff would celebrate mass in Bangui, but is also expected to meet Muslim leaders and visit a mosque in the city’s Muslim enclave known as PK5.