Speaking before Albanian leaders at the country's presidential palace, Pope Francis denounced religious extremists in what appeared to be a clear rebuke of ISIS. "Let no one consider themselves to be the 'armour' of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression," he said, adding "May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against fundamental rights.” The pontiff seemed to be making a reference to ISIS's brutal attacks in the name of Islam. He noted in his speech how important it was for religion never to be used as a justification for violence, "especially in these times where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted and where religious differences are being distorted and exploited." He did, however, praise the Muslim-majority Albania as an "inspiring example" of religious cooperation within a country.
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