Saturday, 17 October 2015

Pope to visit mosque, slum, refugee camp in #Africa – Vatican

Pope Francis will visit a refugee camp and a mosque in the Central African Republic as well as a slum in Kenya during a trip to Africa next month loaded with potential security risks.

The pontiff will be in Kenya from November 25 to 27, spend the next two days in Uganda and travel on to the Central African Republic (CAR), where the trip will end on November 30, according to a Vatican itinerary published Saturday.

The three countries have significant Catholic communities and have been troubled by civil conflicts and violence, which will increase concerns surrounding possible attacks during the visit.

In Nairobi, Francis will tour the Kangemi slum, home to some 100,000 people who live in shacks without sewerage systems, including 20,000 who belong to the local Catholic parish.

Though he regularly visited slums in Buenos Aires in his native Argentina before becoming pope, Francis’s tendency to head off unannounced from secured areas to mingle with the crowds will be a headache for his bodyguards.

Islamic rebels have staged a string of attacks in Kenya, including the April massacre at Garissa university in which 148 people — mostly Christians — died, and the 2013 assault on the Westgate shopping mall that killed 67.

The pontiff will meet with representatives of Kenya’s multi-faith community in a bid to promote inter-religious dialogue.

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