Pope Francis has praised John Wesley for leading people to “knowledge of Jesus Christ”.

The founder of Methodism brought many people to Christ through prayer and Bible reading, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to leaders of the World Methodist Council last week, Pope Francis praised 50 years of dialogue between the Catholic and Methodist churches.

In the Old Testament, a golden jubilee was a moment to free slaves, the Pope said. He added: “we too have been freed from the slavery of estrangement and mutual suspicion”.

“We are no longer strangers,” he said, but rather, through our shared baptism, “members of the household of God”.

Speaking about John Wesley, the 18th-century Anglican clergyman who founded the Methodist movement, Pope Francis said his example converted many people to God.

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