Updated 06:45 AM EDT, Sat, Apr 10, 2021

Muslims in Mexico City to Welcome Pope Francis

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Muslims in the southern Mexican city of San Cristóbal de las Casas are set to meet Pope Francis in three weeks, during his five-day trip to the embattled Central American country in three weeks.

The pontiff will be arriving in what the Tico Times described as "the least Catholic state" in the second-biggest Roman Catholic country in the world. His trip will last from February 12 to 17, where he will deliver a message of hope.

According to National Catholic Reporter (NCR), the Catholic leader will stop at six cities from El Paso to Texas including the embattled Ciudad Juárez and the state of Chiapas, which houses a very small but equally important Muslim population.

Tico Times revealed that upon his arrival to the community, the Pope will be greeted by "a religious mosaic that includes Buddhists, Evangelists and Jews," where the 2010 Census recorded only 58 percent of the population identify with Catholicism.

Aside from the mixed religion, Chiapas is also known as the country's "poorest state." It gained attention internationally after the Zapatista rebellion in 1994, which was sparked after guerrilla leader Subcomandante Marcos rejected the Spanish members of the Murabitun to convert his troops.

Pope Francis confirmed the trip November last year and said that he wishes to enter the U.S.-Mexico border through Ciudad Juarez, Crux Now reported on November 25.

Known for his enigmatic compassion, especially for the underprivileged and the children, Pope Francis has been lauded world-wide as "the People's Pope."

The NCR report revealed how he wishes to continue living up to this title and promised to go to cities that his predecessors St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI never visited.

He also confirmed that he will make a stop at the capital city of Mexico to pray at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

His itinerary during the five-day visit includes a visit to a pediatric hospital in the capital, the youth and the religious in Morelia, and the notorious Cereso state prison, where 20 or more people have died during gang riots in 2009.

According to Crux Now, religious leaders in the country expect the Catholic leader to spread the same message he told thousands of people in Philadelphia in September, where scores of Hispanic immigrants reside.

"You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land," he said.

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