pope benedict 16.jpgPope Benedict XVI says he will organise a summit with religious heads to discuss how they can promote world peace.

 

In a New Year message, the Pope also condemned inter-religious violence, including attacks against Christians in the Middle East.

The summit in the Italian City will be held in October, 25 years after Pope John Paul organised a similar event.

He said the summit would also honor the memory of the historical event promoted by his predecessor.

 

Pope John Paul hosted a similar event in 1986, which was attended by leading Jews and Muslims, as well as the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Pope Benedict has repeatedly denounced attacks on Christians in Iraq, including an assault on a Baghdad Cathedral in October which killed at least 50 people.The Vatican fears that the violence is driving many Christians out of the region.

His announcement came hours after a bomb went off at a church in Egypt.

At least 17 people died in the blast at the Coptic Christian Church in the Northern Egyptian City of Alexandria, sparking a clash between Christians and Muslims.