The 6th of March 2021 marked a pivotal event for the international community when the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, met with revered Shia Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq.

During the meeting, both religious leaders acknowledged the importance of inter-religious dialogue. Such dialogues harbored a culture of coexistence which is vital for the establishment of peace throughout the world.

Pope Francis commended Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani for his noble stance that was supported by the Shiite community to defend the vulnerable population in Iraq amidst the tragic crisis that has plagued the nation in recent years. Ayatollah al-Sistani felt deeply for the Palestinian people within the occupied territory who were suffering from injustice, poverty, and persecution.

Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani reaffirmed that human life was sanctified which called for increased cooperation between religious leaders to guide a path born out of wisdom and acceptance.

Pope Francis reaffirmed that he would continue to pray for a future of peace and coexistence for countries suffering in conflict such as Iraq and for the entire world. In solidarity, Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani placed his blessing upon the Pope and all of humanity.

CD4Peace is impassioned by this monumental meeting. Our organization reiterates its commitment to developing a world where human rights are respected and humanity is inclusive. The meeting that has taken place between Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani should be seen as a major step in the direction of progress toward a world that is peaceful and accepting of all.


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace