Iran Will Participate in Assisi Prayer Meeting with Pope

TEHRAN, Iran, JAN. 6, 2002 ( A representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran will participate in the Assisi world prayer meeting for peace convoked by the Pope for Jan. 24, the official agency IRNA reported.

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The news was revealed by Mustafa Borujerdi, Iranian ambassador to the Vatican, at a recent meeting with Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The Iranian ambassador said that his country is always willing to participate in any initiative to promote dialogue between religions.

Iran and the Vatican will jointly organize the fourth Dialogue Forum between Islam and Catholicism, which will take place in Rome sometime next year. The third forum was held in Tehran last summer.

Iran, which is 99% Muslim, has some 200,000 Christians. It maintains diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

John Paul II has invited the world religions, particularly «Christians and Muslims,» to meet in Assisi to demonstrate that religion «must never be a reason for conflict.»

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