The pontiff made a 10-hour visit aimed at encouraging the country’s multi-faith society but at the same time overlooking recent criticism of a referendum that extends the president’s term and powers.

Azerbaijan, the second-largest Shiite Muslim nation after Iran, has a tiny Catholic population – fewer than 300 Azeris are Catholics.

Francis met with representatives of all the main faiths as well as President Heydar Aliyev before heading back to Rome.

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Freestyling Afghans

A group of young Afghan men and women gather on a hill outside Kabul to practice a variety of freestyle cycling tricks they have learnt from online videos via YouTube, Facebook and other social…