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Muslim Senator Hassan Omar welcomes Pope's message

26 November 2015, 15:17

Nairobi — The latest on Pope Francis' first trip to Africa. (All times local.)


10:10 a.m.

Kenyan Sen. Hassan Omar, a Muslim, says has keenly followed Pope Francis and has welcomed his message of tolerance and care for the poor.

He says: "This pope has transcended religious fault lines. He has talked about of plight Palestinians, the weak and the downtrodden. He epitomizes simplicity and demonstrated that he is foremost defender for social justice."

According to Omar, Francis has emerged as a global leader and his message is important for Africa, which faces many challenges, from corruption, poverty and religious extremism, among others.

— Tom Odula, Nairobi.


10 a.m.

Nelly Ndunge says the pope's visit to Kenya is a blessing because it will renew her faith and had boosted her printing business.

The 29-year-old Kenyan says she sold nearly 3,000 copies of a 2016 calendar with the pope's portrait on it.

Ndunge says she had been on the road since 5 a.m. to get to the University of Nairobi campus for Francis' first public Mass on Thursday morning. Others had been there since 3 a.m., braving heavy downpours that soaked the grounds.

She says: "I am a Catholic and I believe he is godsend. We hope his visit will bring positive change. Sometimes we lose faith so I hope he can strengthen my faith in God."

— Nicole Winfield, Nairobi.


9:40 a.m.

Pope Francis has boarded his open-sided popemobile for a spin through the tens of thousands of people gathered for his first public Mass in Africa.

A sea of umbrellas awaited Francis at the University of Nairobi campus, and thousands of people stood in lines several kilometers (miles) long to try to get close to the site.

Kenyans are singing, dancing and cheering as he passes by.

Francis arrived in Kenya on Wednesday on his first trip to Africa. Earlier Thursday, he told Christian and Muslim leaders they have little choice but to engage in dialogue to ward off the "barbarous" extremist attacks that have hit Kenya recently.

— Nicole Winfield, Nairobi.

- AP


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