January 15, 2015 / 4:03 AM / 3 years ago

Pope leaves post-war Sri Lanka after preaching reconciliation

Pope Francis blesses a child as he arrives in Madhu, Sri Lanka January 14, 2015. REUTERS/ Alessandra Tarantino/Pool

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Pope Francis started the second leg of his Asia tour on Thursday, departing from Sri Lanka after a two-day visit in which he preached a message of reconciliation between the country’s different religious groups to huge crowds.

Francis visited a Church-founded, post-war reconstruction institute in Sri Lanka before boarding a flight to the Philippines, where he will stay until Monday. On Wednesday night he became only the second pope to visit a Buddhist temple.

Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Paul Tait

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