Pope warns in Kazakhstan against instrumentalization of religion: ‘Sacred will not be touched by the profane’

Pontiff addressed the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan

Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFPPope Francis
Pope Francis conducts a mass at the Expo Grounds in Nur-Sultan

O Pope Francis made an alert on Kazakhstan against the instrumentalization of religion. “Let us never justify violence. Let us not allow the sacred to be instrumentalized by the profane. May the sacred not be the support of power and may power not be supported by sacredness!”, said the Argentine pontiff in the opening speech of the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, this Wednesday, 14. The meeting, created in 2003 and held every three years, is marked by the absence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill, close to President Vladimir Putin and a supporter of the war in Ukraine. Francis defended “religious freedom”, a “fundamental, primary and inalienable right, which must be promoted everywhere”. And he urged people to wake up from the fundamentalism that contaminates and corrodes all creeds. “Let us free ourselves from reductive and ruinous conceptions that offend the name of God through rigidity, extremism and fundamentalism, and profane it through hatred, fanaticism and terrorism”, added the pontiff. The papal speech was applauded by more than 100 delegations from 50 countries, who just before participated in a silent prayer. The 85-year-old and with knee pain, the pope arrived in Nur-Sultan on Tuesday for a three-day visit to Central Asia’s biggest country, his 38th trip abroad since his election in 2013.

*With information from AFP

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