President says Pope Francis to visit Nigeria

AP News
Posted: Mar 22, 2014 1:40 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's president says Pope Francis is promising to visit Africa's most populous nation.

A statement from Goodluck Jonathan's office doesn't give any timing for the visit proposed when Jonathan met the Roman Catholic leader at the Vatican on Saturday.

It says they discussed poverty alleviation and inter-faith dialogue.

Nigeria's population is divided almost equally between Muslims and Christians who periodically clash in deadly confrontations. Catholics make up about a quarter of Christians, an estimated 21 million Nigerians. Many Christians belong to evangelical churches that have been winning converts from traditional churches.

Pope Francis has committed to travel to the Holy Land and South Korea in 2014 and said he wants to visit the Philippines and Sri Lanka in coming years. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, visited Africa twice.