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ISTANBUL, Turkey – In a move that drew some concerns from onlookers worldwide, the Roman Catholic pontiff known as Francis visited Turkey’s Blue Mosque on Saturday, expressing reverence during a moment of prayer observed by the nation’s grand mufti, who led him on a tour of the Islamic facility.

According to reports, Francis took off his shoes, folded his hands and bowed his head, standing silently next to Rahmi Yaran, who serves as the nation’s highest Islamic leader as grand mufti. The two faced Mecca as Yaran prayed with his palms raised.

The Vatican described the gesture as a “moment of silent adoration” during the Roman Catholic leader’s visit to the 17th century Sultan Ahmet mosque. Other descriptions of the visit state that it is meant to show “mutual respect” for each other’s religion. Francis’ predecessor Benedict XVI also visited the facility during his tenure.

“May Allah accept it,” Yaran said following the time of prayer

Written by Heather Clark
Read more at Christian News

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