Pope urges Korean religious leaders to counter hate rhetoric

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Pope Francis is silhouetted during an audience with Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, at the Vatican, Thursday, March 23, 2017. (Vincenzo Pinto/Pool Photo via AP )

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has told Korean religious leaders to counter what he called the “narrative of fear” and “rhetoric of hatred.”

Greeting the leaders who are making an interreligious pilgrimage, Francis didn’t mention the fears of possible war which have been fanned by North Korea’s recent missile tests.

But Francis urged his Vatican audience on Saturday to work to “initiate, promote and accompany processes for the welfare and reconciliation of all people.”

Recalling his 2014 pilgrimage to South Korea, the pope says he prays constantly for “peace and fraternal reconciliation.”

He told the Korean Council of Religious Leaders their mission should involve “embodying a nonviolent style, a style of peace, with words clearly different from the narrative of fear, and with gestures opposed to the rhetoric of hatred.”

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