Pope Francis prayed on Saturday on the second day of his visit to Turkey alongside a senior Islamic cleric in Istanbulï¿½s Blue Mosque.
The blue mosque, known officially as the Sultanahmet Mosque, opened in 1616 and was the most famous in Turkey.
Its popular name was a reference to the fine blue Iznik tiles in its main prayer room.
The Vatican City spokesman described it as a gesture of inter-religious harmony and a joint ï¿½moment of silent adorationï¿½ of God.rancis took off his shoes as he entered the huge mosque before bowing his head in prayer for several minutes, facing Mecca and standing next to Istanbulï¿½s Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran.
A similar act by his predecessor Pope Benedict in 2006 drew criticism from conservative Catholics and some Muslims.
Halil Ibrahim Cil, 24, a hospital worker from Istanbul, said there was need to show respect for each otherï¿½s beliefs.
He said God willing the popeï¿½s visit would help in this respect.
ï¿½We want to practice our religion in peace, as we want people to understand Islam, more so we donï¿½t want war, Islam is a religion of peaceï¿½ï¿½, he said.
Source: Photo Credit: AlJazeera/BBC
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