2 Jan 2011

Pope to hold world peace summit

10:26 am on 2 January 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has announced he will host a summit of world religious leaders to discuss how they can promote world peace.

The meeting is to take place in the Italian city of Assisi in October on the 25th anniversary of a similar event organised by Pope John Paul II, the BBC reports.

The Pope announced at the end of his World Peace Day mass in St Peter's Basilica that he will invite religious leaders from around the world - Christians, Jews, Muslims, Budhists and leaders of many other faiths.

In his New Year's Day homily devoted this year to religious freedom and tolerance, the Pope made no direct reference to a suspected suicide bombing at a Coptic Christian Church in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria.

At least 21 people were killed during the mass to celebrate the new year and scores of others injured in the blast, sparking a clash between Christians and Muslims.

However, the Pope hammered home home his message of peace and religious tolerance.

In 1986, Pope John Paul hosted a similar peace summit, which was attended by leading Jews and Muslims, as well as the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop of Canterbury.