Pope John-Paul has arrived in Kazakhstan for a four day visit and Vatican sources are telling the news media that it has been assured that there will be no US military action in the area during this time. Kazakhstan is a former Soviet republic bordering Afghanistan.
The Pope refused to cancel his visit, despite the tensions in the region. It is opposed by the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees it as an intrusion. The vast majority of the people of Kazakhstan are Moslem. It has only a tiny Catholic population.
He will travel next to Armenia to make an appeal for tolerance there as well. In Kazakhstan, the Pope will visit a memorial to the thousands of deportees who died in Stalin's prison system there.
Kazakhastan has a population fourteen million. Eight million are Moslems, six million are Orthodox and approximately 300,000 are Roman Catholic.
Sources in Russia, most notably Pravda, have been suggesting that US military action will start today, and there have been indications that Israel is placing its military on high alert.
The FBI has warned of possible additional terrorist action today.
NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.