Pope Francis made headlines on Saturday after he washed and kissed the feet of 12 young Muslim, Christian and Hindu refugees in an act aimed at bolstering international protection for refugees.
In statements, the Pope said that all people are children of the same God, regardless of their religion.
“All of us together, Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Copts, Evangelical [Protestants] brothers and sisters — children of the same God — we want to live in peace, integrated,” said the Pope, who conducted the ritual at Castelnuovo di Porto refugee center near Rome, Italy.
The ritual is based on Jesus’ washing of the feet of 12 of his apostles at the Last Supper and is considered a gesture of servitude.
According to the Vatican, those who participated in the ritual included three Muslims from Mali, Syria and Pakistan; three Eritrean Coptic Christians; four Catholic Christians from Nigeria; one Italian Catholic; and a Hindu individual from India.
Commenting on the recent Brussels terror attacks, Pope Francis said that the aim of such attacks is to separate us.
“There are manufacturers, arms dealers who want blood, not peace; they want the war, not fraternity,” the Pope said.
“Today, at this time, when I do the same act of Jesus washing the feet of twelve of you, let us all make a gesture of brotherhood, and let us all say: ‘We are different, we are different, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace.'”