Pope Francis' First Social Media Prayer Focuses on 'Interfaith Unity' With Buddhists, Muslims

Pope Francis prays during his visit to the Lutheran church in Rome, November 15, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Tony Gentile)

Pope Francis shared his first monthly prayer intention on social media Wednesday, with the focus of the prayer being on "interfaith unity."

The pope began his brief video, which was broadcast on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, by suggesting that because the majority of the world's inhabitants identify with some religion, this "should lead to a dialogue among religions. We should not stop praying for it and collaborating with those who think differently."

"Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God," Pope Francis continued in his minute-and-a-half video.

The pontiff goes on to suggest that "Only through dialogue will we be able to eliminate intolerance and discrimination," adding that dialogue is "a necessary condition for world peace."

"We must not cease praying for it or collaborating with those who think differently," the pope adds.

The pontiff concludes his message by calling on Christians to "spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice. I have confidence in your prayers."

As the pope speaks in the video, images of Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and Christians all worshipping at their respective holy places flash across the screen.

The pope shared his message on Jan. 6, known to Catholics as the Feast of the Epiphany.

The pope's January prayer intention marks the first time this monthly practice has ever been broadcast on social media.

The Jesuit-led Apostleship of Prayer program announced earlier this week that it would be overseeing the sharing of the pope's monthly messages on social media.

Jesuit Father Frederic Fornos, the managing director of the pontiff's Global Prayer Network, said in an interview with Vatican Radio earlier this week that he hopes this new endeavor will inspire Christians all over the world to pray with the pope.

"To pray together with Pope Francis for these challenges will help a lot," Fornos told Vatican radio.

Fornos also told that he believes it is important for religions to take advantange of modern technology to communicate with every generation.

"In a world where everything pushes toward fragmentation, opposition and division, it's more than ever necessary that religions and persons that hope for peace, brotherhood and solidarity mobilize together on common projects," Fornos told the media outlet.

While the pope delivered his address in his native Spanish, the YouTube video was translated into 12 languages.

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