“Thirst for Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue” was the theme of this 30th anniversary celebration of World Day of Prayer for Peace (a three-day meeting), which Pope St. John Paul II first convoked in the city of St. Francis in 1986.

The event boasted an attendance number greater than that of the 71st UN General Assembly. Held on Tuesday, September 20, in Assisi, Italy, 400 world leaders gathered for the annual dialogue meant to bridge the divide between those of different religious and faith-based practices and to promote none other than world peace.

Participants of World Day of Prayer for Peace included the Emir of Kano Mohammed Sanusi II, who greeted Pope Francis among others when the Pope arrived in Assisi yesterday.

Pope Francis said “much has changed in the three decades that have passed since Pope St. John Paul II held the first event: the Cold War has ended, while the shadow of international terrorism has grown and spread, and our failure to exercise good stewardship over creation has created new challenges to peace”.