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    Religious Fundamentalism Eliminates God and His Creation: Pope Francis

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    Pope Francis has strongly condemned religious fundamentalism that caused the Charlie Hebdo massacre and is fueling the ongoing bloodshed in the Middle East.

    MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — Pope Francis has condemned "deviant forms of religion," referring to the religious fundamentalism which led to the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris and the ongoing bloodshed in the Middle East.

    "Religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext," Pope Francis said in his speech at Vatican addressing  ambassadors accredited with the Holy See, as cited by the Associated Press.

    The pontiff called upon Muslim spiritual leaders to denounce "extremist interpretations" of Islam and those who seek to justify their atrocities and cold-blooded murder of peaceful civilians by their religious beliefs. Francis urged the religious leaders to declare Islam "does not condone such violence."

    The pope emphasized that those, who carried out the Paris attacks belonged to a "throwaway culture" that denies God and sanctity of a human life. He insisted that the perpetrators had become "enslaved" by "deviant forms of religion."

    Commenting on the pontiff's speech, the Wall Street Journal notes that on Sunday, January 11, four million people took to the streets in France protesting against extremism of the deadly attack on French Charlie Hebdo magazine on Wednesday, January 7, and the brazen double hostage-taking on Friday.

    Francis also slammed the kidnapping of Nigerian young girls by Boko Haram insurgents, as well as the butchering and "unspeakable brutality" of 100 Pakistani children by Taliban, the Associated Press reported.

    The Wall Street Journal underscores that the pope is trying to establish an interreligious dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and Muslim communities across the world.  As a part of this initiative, Francis visited Turkey and Albania in 2014.

    The Argentine-born pontiff also addressed the US authorities calling to change their attitude towards Latin American refugees and praised the decision of Washington to close the Guantanamo prison.


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