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Pope prays at Good Friday rite recalling Mideast

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has praised the "friendship of so many Muslim brothers" during the Good Friday procession that re-enacts Christ's crucifixion and this year was dedicated to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The nighttime Way of the Cross procession at Rome's Colosseum is one of the most dramatic rituals of Holy Week, when Christians commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ.

This year, the meditations read out were composed by young Lebanese faithful. Many of the prayers referred to the plight of Mideast Christians and called for an end to "violent fundamentalism," terrorism and the "wars and violence which in our days devastate various countries in the Middle East."

Francis, who became pope just weeks ago, chose however to stress Christians' positive relations with Muslims in the region.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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