Pope Francis calls for mutual respect in Ramadan message to Muslims

130802140850-pope-francis-story-top(CNN) — Pope Francis has called for mutual respect between religions in a message addressed to Muslims as they prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr next week, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

It is traditional for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to send a message of good wishes and a proposed theme for common reflection at this time.

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But Francis, who was elected to the papacy in March, said that he wanted to add the personal touch.

“This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders,” he writes.

 “This year, the theme on which I would like to reflect with you and with all who will read this message is one that concerns both Muslims and Christians: Promoting Mutual Respect through Education.”
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