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Central African Republic

Pope Francis travels to mosque in heart of sectarian conflict

Pope Francis travels to mosque in heart of sectarian conflict

The final hours of Pope Francis’ African tour might well have been most dangerous moments of his papacy, as he visited a volatile Muslim neighborhood in the Central African Republic’s capital, Bangui, followed by an open air Mass at a stadium.

It was the most powerful, symbolic moment of his Africa trip, as he became the first pope in modern history to travel to a war zone.

As crowds cheered, Francis brushed aside security warnings, traveling in the back of an open Pope-mobile -- a converted SUV with no bulletproof glass -- and wore no bulletproof vest.

It was a trip that the French Defense Ministry had urged against, saying forces from the former colonial...

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