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“Education is the weapon against fundamentalism”

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Papa Francesco - Photo by Ansa FotoPapa Francesco – Photo by Ansa Foto

Fundamentalism, the emancipation of women and the race for rearmament: these are the questions addressed by Pope Francis during the work of the Baharain Forum for East-West dialogue for human coexistence. This is the first time that the Holy Father has visited Bahrain, a small Arabic-speaking state overlooking the Persian Gulf.

The race for rearmament: “The religious man favors the path of encounter”

“The religious man, the man of peace, is also opposed to the race for rearmament, to war affairs, to the death market. It does not favor alliances against someone, but ways of meeting everyone: without giving in to relativism or syncretism of any kind, it pursues only one path, that of fraternity, dialogue, the peace. These are his yeses,” warned the pontiff, who also called for greater dialogue with the Islamic world.

“Let us forge stronger bonds between us, without duplicity and without fear, in the name of the Creator who placed us together in the world as guardians of brothers and sisters. And, if different powerful people negotiate with each other for interests, money and power strategies, we show that another way to come together is possible. Possible and necessary, because force, arms and money will never be colored with peace for the future”.

Pope Francis in Bahrain: “We must isolate the violent”

“It is not enough to say that a religion is peaceful, it is necessary to condemn and isolate the violent ones who misuse its name. It is not enough either to move away from intolerance and extremism, we must act in the opposite direction. For this, we must stop supporting terrorist movements with the provision of money, weapons, plans or justifications and even media coverage, and consider all of these as international crimes that threaten global security and peace. . We must condemn this terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.

The emancipation of women one of the “educational needs”

As mentioned, Pope Francis also spoke about the emancipation of women, calling it one of the “educational needs”. There is “in the first place, the recognition of women in the public sphere: in education, at work, in the exercise of their social and political rights. In this, as in other areas, education is the means of emancipating oneself from historical and social legacies contrary to that spirit of fraternal solidarity which should characterize those who adore God and love their neighbour”.

Pope Francis in Bahrain: Education is the weapon against fundamentalism

Education, says the Sovereign Pontiff, is also the weapon to fight fundamentalisms: “Where there is a lack of educational opportunities, extremisms increase and fundamentalisms take root. And, if ignorance is the enemy of peace, education is the friend of development, as long as it is an education truly worthy of man, dynamic and relational: therefore not rigid and monolithic, but open challenges and sensitive to cultural changes. ; not self-referential and isolating, but attentive to the history and culture of others”.

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