Pope Francis plans Indonesia trip to promote inter-religious dialogue

Pope Francis will also make the first papal visit to mainly Catholic Timor-Leste since it won independence from Jakarta, as well as visit Papua New Guinea.
Pope Francis will also make the first papal visit to mainly Catholic Timor-Leste since it won independence from Jakarta, as well as visit Papua New Guinea.PHOTO: AFP

VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis will promote inter-religious dialogue this year during a trip to the world's biggest Muslim country Indonesia and make the first papal visit to mainly Catholic Timor-Leste since it won independence from Jakarta, diplomatic sources said.

The trip, which will also include a visit to Papua New Guinea, is likely to take place in September, the sources said.

The Vatican has not yet announced the trip.

Timor-Leste is more than 95 per cent Roman Catholic, a legacy of colonisation by Portugal. It won independence in 2002 from Indonesia, with which it shares a land border.

The late Pope John Paul visited then East Timor and Indonesia in 1989.

Papua New Guinea, which also shares a land border with Indonesia on another island, is predominantly Christian. Pope John Paul visited it in 1984.