Pope Francis has called on moderate Muslims and all religious leaders to condemn Islamic extremists who "pervert" religion to justify violence, as he visited Albania and held it up as a model for interfaith harmony.
In what could draw global attention, the Iraqi ambassador to Vatican, Habeeb Al Sadr, has told an Italian newspaper that the Islamic State may target Pope Francis in bid to expand its terror wings, reports stated on Tuesday.
Vatican City: Young Syrians are gravitating towards the radical Islamic State due to a lack of prospects and the lure of financial support more than "ideological conviction", the pope`s Syria envoy said on Saturday.
Football fan Pope Francis stayed neutral ahead of the World Cup final between his native Argentina and Germany, saying the tournament in Brazil had shown the importance of dialogue between different cultures.
Pope Francis holds his first meeting with victims of sexual abuse by priests on Monday, an encounter that some say should have happened long ago, and victims from his native Argentina say they are pained over their exclusion.
Six victims, two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany, will attend the pope`s private morning Mass in his Vatican residence and then meet with him afterwards, according to people who organised the meeting.
Pope Francis landed on Sunday in the cradle of Christianity in a symbolic nod to Palestinian aspirations for their own state, calling the stalemate in peace talks "unacceptable" and stopping briefly to pray at the Israeli separation barrier surrounding this biblical West Bank town.
Pope Francis arrives in Jordan on Saturday to start an intense three-day trip to the Middle East, bringing hope to the dwindling Christian population and an appeal to members of all religions to work together for peace.