Following the meeting of the leader of the world's Catholics Pope Francis with the Shia marja' in Iraq, the office of Shia marja' issued an official statement in this regard.

Iran Press/Middle East: Ayatollah Sistani's office said in a statement that during the meeting, the great challenges facing humanity in this era and the role of faith in God Almighty and adherence to high moral values in overcoming these challenges were discussed.

According to the statement, Ayatollah Sistani spoke about the injustice, oppression, poverty, religious and intellectual persecution, the suppression of fundamental freedoms and the lack of social justice that most people face in different countries, especially in our region, which continues to suffer from wars, violence, economic siege and displacement, and many other things, such as the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

The grand religious authority pointed to the role that great religious and spiritual leaders had to play in curbing these catastrophes.

Ayatollah Sistani stressed the importance of a concerted effort to strengthen the values of peaceful coexistence and human solidarity in all societies, based on the observance of rights and mutual respect among followers of different religions and intellectual tendencies.

He also expressed hope that the Iraqi people would be able to overcome the current difficult times in the near future.

Ayatollah Sistani expressed hope that Christians, like the rest of the Iraqi people, would live in security, peace and full protection of their rights.

He noted the role of the religious authority in protecting Christians and others who have been persecuted as a result of the events of the past years, including the issue of terrorists’ domination of large areas of Iraqi provinces, noting that the terrorists committed criminal acts which were a shame.

Ayatollah Sistani wished good luck to the leader of the world's Catholics and all the followers of the Catholic Church and all of humanity, thanking him for coming to Najaf.


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