Pope Francis calls for unity as he leads Mass in Cairo stadium

Pope Francis calls for tolerance and blesses Egypt as one of the earliest nations to embrace Christianity, as he leads mass in Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium.

CAIRO, EGYPT (APRIL 29, 2017) (EGYPT TV) – Pope Francis warned against religious fanaticism on Saturday (April 29), as he wrapped up a two-day trip to Egypt by leading Mass in Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium.

Vatican officials said 15,000 worshippers gathered for the open-air Mass, among them Coptic bishops and senior Anglican figures.

Crowds arrived early, waving Egyptian and Vatican flags and braving intense security measures to welcome Francis, who toured the sun-drenched stadium in a golf buggy to the sound of hymns performed by a choir and orchestra.

He blessed Egypt as one of the earliest nations to embrace Christianity and repeated his plea for tolerance.

Francis’ trip comes three weeks after Islamic State killed at least 45 people in attacks on two Egyptian churches. He has used the visit to launch a strong appeal for religious freedom and to accuse extremists of distorting the nature of God.