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Event to recreate 800-year-old peace talks between saint and sultan

by Tola Mbakwe

During a pause in the battles of the Fifth Crusade in the 13th Century, Francis of Assisi crossed over from the Christian camp to the Muslim armies in an attempt to end the fighting by preaching to the Muslim leader, Sultan Malik al-Kamil.

Despite the assumption that he would be killed, the outcome was a peaceful conversation between the two leaders.

Just before he left the sultan's camp, Francis of Assisi asked that they sit down together for a meal, believing that this would deepen the fellowship between them.

To commemorate this, the Third Order Anglican Franciscans is taking a meal into the Dar ul-Isra Mosque in Cardiff, and serving it to a group of Muslims and Christians, including Rt Rev June Osborne, Bishop of Llandaff.

The meal will be accompanied by a dramatic presentation of the encounter, based on a number of contemporary accounts from the 13th Century.

The Church in Wales said the hopes are the event will advance the cause of Muslim/Christian relations in Wales.

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