Pope Benedict XVI calls for respect of all religions

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday called for respect of all religious symbols and places of worships, and said Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders should work together for world peace.

The pontiff made the remarks during an audience at the Vatican with members of the American Jewish Committee.

Benedict said the three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, should cooperate to promote justice and world peace.

"This is especially important today when particular attention must be given to teaching respect for God, for religions and their symbols, and for holy sites and places of worship," the pope said. "Religious leaders have a responsibility to work for reconciliation through genuine dialogue and acts of human solidarity."

The pope has made efforts to reach out to Jews, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, John Paul II. He also said he wants to build "bridges of friendship" with Muslims.

Last month, amid violent protests in the Muslim world over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, the pope said religious symbols must be respected but that violence is never justified as a response, reports the AP.


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