The Official logo of Pope Francis' visit released by the church - photo courtesy of Radio Vaticana
CAIRO- 28 April 2017- Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, is paying a two-day visit to Cairo where he will discuss the inter-faith dialogue with al-Azhar.
The visit, which comes at an invitation from President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, marks the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Egypt and the Vatican.
Here is Egypt Today Live Update:
Live streaming of Pope Francis's visit to Egypt
19:35 - Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis attend Ecumenical Prayer held at a church, commonly known as El-Botroseya inside the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of Abbasiya.
Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis attend Ecumenical Prayer
19:10 - Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis sign a joint bilateral cooperation protocol between both the Roman Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.
Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis sign joint protocol
19:07 - Bilateral conference by both popes at the headquarters of Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of Abbasiya ends.
19:05 - Pope Francis speaks about victims who fall due to violence, saying that they believe in God who told them not to confront evil with evil.
18:55 - Pope Francis starts his speech at Saint Marc Cathedral. He expresses his happiness with the reception he received from Pope Tawadros, and recalls the latter's visit to Rome.
18:50 - Pope Tawadros concludes his speech after stressing that Egypt has always been an oasis of peace and a forum for all religions; he emphasizes that Pope Francis is always present in their daily prayers.
18:45 - Pope Tawadros: We can sense your efforts to strengthen the relation between the two largest churches in the world, the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The dialogue between both celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. “Unity is the best testimony we can offer from Jesus to the world.”
18:40 - Pope Twadros starts his speech by welcoming Pope Francis in Egypt, the land of civilization and moderation. "Welcome the pope of peace in the land of peace."
Pope Tawadros speech
18:22 - Pope Tawadros welcomes Pope Francis at the headquarters of Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of Abbasiya.
17:56 - Francis ends his speech with "Long Live Egypt."
17:55 - Pope Francis: President Sisi, ladies and gentlemen I want to offer a greeting and symbolic parental hug to all Egyptians in this hall. And I greet all Christians living in this country.
President Sisi greets Pope Francis at the end of their speech
17:50 - Pope Francis greets all Christians in Egypt and tells them that they are a genuine part of this nation and an example for the whole world, showing that “we can all live together in harmony and amity.”
17:49 - Pope Francis: We have to combat the ideologies of radicalism and emphasize that we cannot combine religion and violence. The history glorifies peace builders who fight for a better world…Egypt is invited to rescue the region from “the famine of love”, it is its duty to prove that faith is for God and the land is for all people.
Pope Francis: “Egypt, which is building peace and fighting terrorism, proves that religion is for God and the nation is for everyone. This was the slogan of 1952 revolution, stressing that a person can have his faith and respect everyone's faith and live with them.”
17:47 - Francis: “This year we celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Egypt. These relations were always characterized with friendship and mutual respect.”
17:45 - Pope Francis: “In front of a very sensitive international scene, we have to emphasize that we cannot built a civilization without getting rid of the ideologies of evil and violence and all kind of radicalism and we have to teach the new generations that god is the one who protects people.”
He adds: “We have to educate the new generations that God, the Creator of the Earth and Heaven, does not want protection from human..God never justifies violence. He calls for love and compassion and respect and brotherhood.”
17:42- Pope Francis: Real development is measured by the amount of interest dedicated for citizens’ education, health and dignity.
17:41- Pope Francis offers his condolences to the victims of churches attacks in December and April, says: "I think of the victims of the terrorist attacks against the Coptic Churches…I pray to God to heal the injured."
17:40 - Francis in his speech: Egypt has an important role in spreading peace in the region, even though it is suffering itself due to the recent acts of extremism and violence that deprived families of their beloved.
17:34 - Pope Francis: Egypt has been a source of a lot of blessings for 2000 years. We feel like Egypt is ours. And as you say, it is “Um el-Donya” (translates to: Egypt is the mother of the world).
17:33 - Pope Francis takes the floor to give his speech after President Sisi.
17:30 - Sisi: Receiving Pope Francis in Egypt is an evidence for the strength and rigidity of our national unity.
17:28 - Sisi says that overcoming terrorism demands concerted efforts via military or financial support, as well as raising efficiency of country’s infrastructure.
17:26 - Sisi: Eliminating terrorism requires further cooperation, coordination and a comprehensive strategy.
17:25 - Sisi: terrorism and extremism use the great religion of Islam as a cover, but Islam is innocent of it.
17:24 - Sisi says that Egyptians bear the high danger of terrorism, but insist to overcome it.
17:22- Sisi to Pope Francis: I assure you that your stances to spread peace is cherished and affirms Vatican's stance to support peace.
17:20 - President Sisi gives a speech, starts with welcoming Pope Francis as a "dear guest" to Egypt.
17:16 - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Pope Francis hold a conference at a Cairo Hotel.
17:00 - Pope Francis's official Twitter account posts:
We are called to walk together, in the conviction that the future also depends on the encounter of religions and cultures.
16:57 - Pope Francis ends his speech with "Al- Salam Alaykum."
16:55 - Pope Francis: State heads and media have a responsibility to spread peace. We have to build strong foundations for alliances among countries and civilizations.
Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib shake hands at the end of conference
16:51 - Pope Francis: the religion itself is not a problem but it solves the problem...we have to learn how to build the humanity civilization.
16:50 - Pope Francis: I look up at the Sinai Mountain and I would like to talk about the instructions it witnessed, which were addressed to all people in the world and the 10 commandments.
16:47 - Pope Francis: There is no justification for using violence. Violence is a rejection of all true religions. And as responsible for religion, we have to reveal this violence that is build on selfishness and is disguised in different ways ... We have to reject all kinds of violence and hatred that are committed with the name of religion.
16:45 - Pope Francis: "No act of violence can be committed with the name of God. And from Egypt, the earth of civilizations and alliances, we refuse all kinds of violence that are committed with the name of religion.”
16:44 - Pope Francis praised the cooperation between the Vatican and Al-Azhar, stressing that it is an example that should be echoed.
16:42 - Pope Francis: We have to reject the barbaric attitude that aims at inciting violence.
16:41 - Pope Francis: We believe in one god and we live on this earth thanks to him. Therefore, we are all brothers and sisters.
16:40 - Pope Francis: Dialogue among religions is not a strategy to achieve personal interests, it is a reality we are seeking to overcome differences. We have to encourage true dialogue ... It is the best way to build a future.
16:34 - Pope Francis: the future of humanity is based on dialogue among religions.
16:33- Pope Francis: No peace without allowing youth education, and without respect the other.
16:32- Pope Francis starts his speech with "Al- Salam Alaykum" (Peace be upon you.)
Pope Francis during his speech at Al-Azhar Sheikhdom
16:28- Ahmed al-Tayyib: Al-Azhar seeks to enhance the concept of coexistence
16:26 - Ahmed al-Tayyib: Christianity and Judaism far from terrorism
16:23 - Ahmed al-Tayyib: Pope's visit came in a time lacks peace in several countries.
16:22- Al Azhar Sheikh: Arm trafficking participated in the deterioration of the current security situation.
16:17 - Sheikh Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyib started his speech with a call for a moment of silence for the victims of terrorism.
16:17 - Sheikh Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyib welcomes Pope Francis and his accompanied delegation.
16:17 - Al-Azhar International Peace Conference starts with Pope Francis's participation at Al-Azhar Center For Conferences in Cairo.
Pope Francis and Al-Azhar Sheikh Al-Tayyib ahead of conference
16:08 - The Holy Father leaves the headquarters of Al-Azhar Sheikhdom after holding a meeting with Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb.
15:35 - Pope Francis arrives at Al-Azhar Sheikhdom headquarters in Cairo. Undersecretary of Al-Azhar Abbas Shoman was on top of Egyptian officials who are receiving the Roman Catholic Church leader.
Pope Francis arrives at Azhar headquarters in Cairo
15:10 - Pope Francis said his trip would be a “journey of unity and fraternity” as he arrived in Cairo, according to AFP news agency.
14:50 - Tight security measures are employed during Pope's visit to Egypt. Following his meeting with President Sisi, Francis is scheduled to head to Al-Azhar Sheikhdom headquarters in Cairo, where he will meet with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyib to discuss inter-faith dialogue efforts.
Pope Francis in Egypt
14:40 - Pope Francis shakes hands with a number of Egyptian ministers, state officials and religious leaders.
President Sisi and Pope Francis inside Itihadyea Palace
14:37 - The national anthems of Egypt and Vatican play in the background as both President Sisi and Pope Francis enter Itihadeya palace.
President Sisi and Pope during national anthems of Egypt and Vatican
14:35 - Pope Francis arrives at Itihadeya palace; President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi receives him.
14:29 – Pope Francis walks with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail at the airport. Leader of Roman Catholic Church heads to Ittihadiya palace.
14:26- Pope Francis told reporters before he disembarked in Cairo airport that his visit is a "voyage of unity and fraternity," AFP reported.
14:22 - Al-Azhar live-tweets Pope Francis’s visit, says on its official account: “New step towards achieving peace among people.”