Pope Benedict XVI on Friday called for keeping religions and politics separate and strongly advocated inclusion of religious freedom among basic human rights that should be ensured to people across the globe.
In his maiden address to the 192-member General Assembly, the pontiff avoided reference to political issues, but concentrated on the need for inter-faith dialogue and human rights based on ethical values.
The Pope told the packed assembly that the task of inter-religious dialogue should be to propose a vision of faith in terms of complete respect for truth, coexistence, human rights and reconciliation.
Text: Dharam Shourie/PTI | Photograph: Jay Mandal
Image: Pope Benedict XVI addressing the UN General Assembly.