Pope calls world religious peace summit


Pope John Paul today called a meeting of leaders of all the world's religions next month to pray for peace and to work to overcome armed conflicts.

The Pope said he hoped the January 24th meeting, to be held in Assisi in Italy, the birthplace of St Francis, would be particularly helpful to improve relations between Christians and Muslims following the September 11th attacks on the US.

The Pope hosted a similar meeting in Assisi in 1986.

During that session, nearly all parties in armed conflicts around the world adhered to his appeal and laid down their arms for 24 hours as a gesture of peace while the meeting was held.

The Pope also urged Roman Catholics to hold a fast for peace on December 14th.