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Speaking Before Muslims And Hindus, Pope Asks For Right to Change Religion to be Respected

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 Sep 2010

In London this morning, the Pope met with representatives of other Christian confessions, and of other major religions present in the United Kingdom. Among them were Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs.

Although he did not mention attacks against Christians by extremists, the Pope asked for religious freedom to be respected throughout the world.

Benedict XVI
"I am thinking in particular of situations in some parts of the world, where cooperation and dialogue between religions calls for mutual respect, the freedom to practice one's religion and to engage in acts of public worship, and the freedom to follow one's conscience without suffering ostracism or persecution, even after conversion from one religion to another".

Speaking to leaders from very different religious groups, the Pope also highlighted how belief in God must have practical consequences in  private life.

Benedict XVI
"It inspires noble and generous action, to the benefit of the entire human family. It motivates us to cultivate the practice of virtue and to reach out towards one another in love, with the greatest respect for religious traditions different from our own."

Before the conclusion of the meeting, the Pope reiterated the Catholic Church's commitment to dialogue and to respect for all religions. He also gave assurances that Catholics will work to build bridges with other religions, to heal the errors of the past, and to foster trust among individuals and communities".