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Pope Francis hopes his Arabian trip will help relations between Christianity & Islam

Pope Francis said on Wednesday he hoped his historic trip to the Arabian peninsula will help dispel the notion of an inevitable clash of civilizations between Christianity and Islam. Francis returned to Rome on Tuesday from the United Arab Emirates, where he presided in Abu Dhabi at the largest public Mass ever celebrated on the peninsula where Islam was born. “In an era, like ours, where there is a strong temptation to see a clash between Christian civilization and the Islamic one… we wanted to give another clear and decisive signal that encounter, respect and dialogue is possible,” he said at his regular general audience. Francis was referring to a document he signed during the trip with Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque and university, one of the most authoritative theological and educational institutions in Islam, Reuters said.