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Pope gives speech in Astana on Kazahkstan visit

Expo Square
Expo Square Copyright HANDOUT/AFP
By Euronews
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The head of the Catholic church is on a visit to the predominantly-Muslim country until Thursday. 7,000 Catholics turned out at the Expo-Square to see the papal saint.


Astana’s Expo Square was the scene of the mass officiated by Pope Francis during his papal visit to Kazakhstan.

The Muslim-majority country is home to a small Catholic community of around 125,000 Christians, with 7,000 gathering in the square of the Kazakhstani capital.

"This is a remarkable event for every Catholic. The visit of Pope Francis fuels the energy for our faith," said Anna Pineker, an Astana resident.

The head of the Catholic church had words of remembrance for the "beloved Ukraine" and the efforts to achieve peace: "What must still happen, how many more dead must we expect?" he asked.

During his address to the Congress of Leaders of the World and Religious Traditions, he also spoke for peace.

"Let us commit ourselves even more and insist on the need for resolving conflicts not by the inconclusive means of power, with weapons and threats, but by the only means blessed by heaven and worthy of man: encounter, dialogue and patient negotiations."

The visit of the Pope concludes on Thursday. He was unable to meet one-on-one with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill after the cancellation on Kirill's side. The two leaders' relations have been strained by the Russian Orthodox's open support for the invasion of Ukraine.

Watch the video report above

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