November 27, 2015

Pope Francis visits Kenya at start of tour of Africa, in pictures

 Pope Francis is on a five-day, three-nation tour of Africa
 Pope Francis walks next to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) at Jomo Kenyatta international airport in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Wednesday, the first day of his visit
 The pontiff is greeted by traditional dancers at the airport. It is Pope Francis' first visit to Africa.
 Security officers stand on a bridge as a giant banner of Pope Francis is hung at the University of Nairobi campus. As with past apostolic journeys, the Pope has declined any special security measures.
 The authorities in Kenya have flooded the streets of the capital with up to 10,000 police along with other security personnel.
 Asked by journalists if he was nervous about the visit, the Pope joked: 'To tell you the truth, the only thing I'm concerned about is the mosquitoes. Did you bring your spray?'
 Kenyan newspapers carry headlines about Pope Francis' visit
 Millions of African Catholics, who represent what is expected to soon be the largest flock in the world, are expected to gather to see the Pope, presenting huge challenges for the security forces of the three countries.
 People walk by a billboard welcoming Pope Francis ahead of his visit to Bangui on Sunday. There is acute concern for the Pope’s safety in the Central African Republic capital, particularly in the light of recent terrorist attacks in Mali, Kenya, Tunisia, and other parts of the continent.
 A man walks past a mural depicting Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga, with a Christian and Muslim embracing (bottom), in Bangui, Central African Republic. The text reads 'One single heart, one single soul' and 'Live with the peace of Christ'.
Pope Francis receives a raucous welcome from the crowd as he zooms around in his open-sided popemobile, some 10,000 police providing security.
 At State House, the pope called for responsible development in Africa and elsewhere. One of his first actions in Kenya was to plant a tree on the State House grounds.
 Some people had been at the University of Nairobi for the Pope's Mass since 3 a.m., braving heavy showers that turned the grounds into thick puddles of mud.
 The Pope prefers not to use the highly fortified 'Popemobiles' used by his predecessors because he wants get closer to the people, security risks not withstanding. 'I cannot greet the people and tell them I love them inside a sardine can, even if it is made of glass. For me it is a wall… It is true something could happen to me but let’s be realistic, at my age I do not have much to lose,' he told La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper, in 2014.
The size of the crowd at the University of Nairobi Mass - estimated by both police and the Vatican - was far smaller than the 1.4 million that Kenyan authorities had expected after declaring Thursday a national holiday. Vatican officials had predicted a maximum of a half-million people, and the lower number was likely due in large part to the weather.
 Pope Francis arrives at the University of Nairobi for a public mass
A man receives a host wafer in Central Park in Nairobi
 Kenyan priests gather at the University of Nairobi grounds
 The African church is among the most conservative in the world, and African bishops have been at the forefront in insisting that traditional church teachings on marriage and sexuality, and its opposition to abortion, be strongly emphasized.
 Children dance as Pope Francis (below crucifix) celebrates a Mass at the campus of the University of Nairobi. The Pope called for Kenyans to shape a more just society that looks out for the poor and to 'reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination, for these things are not of God.'
 A woman is assisted after she got injured while pushing for space to attend the mass
A Catholic nun prays with the rosary as she arrives for the mass
On Friday, the pontiff arrives in Uganda for the second leg of his trip.

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