Pope Francis, leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, has responded to the letter by Head of the Shia Scholars’ European Union over Christmas felicitations.
“Pope Francis is much pleased to have heard your nice wishes and cordial Christmas felicitations, and he wholeheartedly expresses gratitude for your voiced solidarity among divine religions,” the text of the message issued on Saturday reads.
The letter continues, “During the Christmas period, His Eminence prays especially for global peace and voices solidarity with all people who are suffering from war, conflict and terrorism around the world. Pope Francis also prays to God to reward your efforts in promoting human prosperity and peace; May Almighty God bless you in 2017.”
Ayatollah Reza Ramezani, a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts and leader of the Hamburg Islamic Center, also serves as the president of the Islamic European Union of Shia Scholars and Theologians.