Pope Plans Unprecedented Visit to Syrian Mosque

May 5, 2001

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On May 5, 2001, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "Pope John Paul II plans to become the first pontiff to step through the doors of a mosque...He and his Syrian hosts hope for a moment of unity between the world's two largest faiths...'The whole visit itself is a very important symbol that in a way is a reversal of the Crusades,' said John Voll, associate director of the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. 'He's not going to the mosque to convert or conquer people; he's going to open a dialogue of cooperation.'...Syrians see it as a confirmation of their country's tolerance for its Christian minority."