U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis discussed “the protection of Christian communities” in the Vatican soon after the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), in claiming responsibility for the recent massacre in England, threatened “more severe” attacks against “worshippers of the Cross and their allies.”
Pope Francis received the American president in the Vatican on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Vatican described the meeting as “cordial,” adding that the two leaders spoke favorably of “the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America,” as well as their joint commitment “in favor of life, religious liberty and freedom of conscience.”
Moreover, the two men reportedly discussed international affairs, “with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.”
The United States and the United Nations have determined that ISIS has committed genocide against Christians and other ethnoreligious minorities in the Middle East.
“We had a fantastic meeting,” declared President Trump, referring to his Vatican visit.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), who has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts on behalf of the persecuted Christian minority in the Middle East, welcomed the discussions between the President Trump and Pope Francis.
“The meeting appeared to be very fruitful. I am very pleased that President Trump and Pope Francis found multiple points of alignment on fundamental issues affecting all of humanity, especially the protection of Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East,” he told Breitbart News.
The White House also released a statement about the meeting which also involved Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
“In their meetings, the President focused on how the United States, the Holy See, and the international community can work together to combat terrorism,” notes the White House.
“The Pope and the President discussed how religious communities can combat human suffering in crisis regions, such as Syria, Libya, and ISIS-controlled territory,” it adds. “The President affirmed that the United States and the Holy See share many fundamental values and seek to engage globally to promote human rights, combat human suffering, and protect religious freedom.”
The meeting comes on the heels of the latest major ISIS attack on European soil, which targeted children at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday at the Manchester Arena in England, killing at least 22 people and wounding 59 others.
In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, ISIS threatens, “What comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission.”
Breitbart Jerusalem also learned that ISIS sympathizers and terrorists celebrated the attack, declaring, “We swear to Allah that the infidel countries in the West won’t have the luxury of security.”
“Allah is great, we will shake the infidel and criminal regimes,” added the jihadists. “We will destroy the rule of those who abandon Islam [a reference to Arab leaders].”
In an exclusive interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), President Trump vowed to “help” and protect the Christian minority in the Middle East, noting that “they’ve been horribly treated.”
ISIS, in the statement claiming responsibility for the Manchester attack, claimed that “30 Crusaders” were killed, which is more than various news reports have said.
The statement says in its entirety:
With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah [caliphate] managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester, in revenge for Allah’s religion, in an endeavor to terrorize the mushrikin [polytheists], and in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims.
The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena, resulting in 30 Crusaders being killed and 70 others being wounded. And what comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission. And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the creation.
ISIS suggests that the attack involved the use of several improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
However, “it appears that only one bomb was detonated,” notes the Long War Journal, adding, “Manchester police think that a lone individual detonated the IED, but they are investigating the possibility that other people were involved.”
Authorities have identified the suicide bomber as 22-year-old British-born Salman Abedi, who had recently returned from jihadist hotbed Libya before the attack.
Ian Hopkins, the chief of the Manchester police, revealed that the bomber was part of a network. British law enforcement has already arrested several people in connection to the attack.