Mongolia President Visits Pontiff

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2011 ( Benedict XVI and the president of Mongolia today discussed the importance of interreligious dialogue for the promotion of peace.

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President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj visited the Pope at the Vatican today, and went on to meet with the Holy Father’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

According to a Vatican communiqué, «The cordial discussions provided an opportunity to reflect upon the good relations that exist between Mongolia and the Holy See, as well as the understanding and cooperation between Church and state in the fields of education and social care.

«Attention also turned to the political situation in Asia, with particular reference to the importance of inter-cultural and interreligious dialogue for the promotion of peace and justice.»

The southeast Asian nation has a population of some 3.1 million people, 40% of whom profess no religious beliefs. About half of the country is Buddhist Lamaist, while Christians make up less than 6%. In fact, there are only around 760 Catholics in the country. 

As of 2006, there is an apostolic prefecture, a bishop and three churches in the capital. Mongolia and the Vatican have had full diplomatic relations since 1992.

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