VATICAN CITY - His Holiness Pope Francis today listened to news of a unique multi-faith campaign to clear landmines from the Baptism Site of Christ

During an audience with the Pope, Major General James Cowan, CEO of the HALO Trust described to The Holy Father the project to clear thousands of mines from churches, monasteries and sacred land on the West Bank of the River Jordan, explaining that it is an important symbol of religious harmony at a time of great conflict in the region.  In subsequent meetings with Vatican officials, The Holy See gave further helpful guidance and support to the project.
The HALO Trust, the world's largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation, has secured the agreement of the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to clear an estimated 2,600
 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines that were laid at the Baptism Site during the 1967 War.

"رُوحُ السَّيِّدِ الرَّبِّ عَلَيَّ، لأَنَّ الرَّبَّ مَسَحَنِي لأُبَشِّرَ الْمَسَاكِينَ، أَرْسَلَنِي لأَعْصِبَ مُنْكَسِرِي الْقَلْبِ، لأُنَادِيَ لِلْمَسْبِيِّينَ بِالْعِتْقِ، وَلِلْمَأْسُورِينَ بِالإِطْلاَقِ" (سفر إشعياء 61: 1)