Pope Francis travels to Cairo

Apostolic visit to Cairo takes place from 28-29 April.

Pope Francis will begin his two-day visit to Egypt on Friday 28 April, in a mission to build on inter-faith dialogue with Muslim leaders and show solidarity with Christian communities in the wake of recent terror attacks.

The pontiff is expected to land at Cairo International Airport at 14.00 before being welcomed by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the presidential palace in Heliopolis.

Later Pope Francis will address participants of the International Conference on Peace at the al-Azhar Centre of Islamic studies, at the invitation of Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. The pontiff will be joined there by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, alongside the Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

On 29 April Pope Francis will celebrate Mass and meet with Egyptian bishops, clergy, seminarians, and religious men and women, before flying back to Rome.

The pope's visit comes less than a month after two bomb attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt by so-called Islamic State militants left 45 people dead and dozens of others injured.

Despite the terror risk, the pope has reportedly chosen not to travel in an armoured vehicle.

Egypt's Christians constitute about 10 per cent of the country’s population.

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