Pope Francis says the way to prevent young people from being radicalized and going off to fight with extremist groups is to give them an education and a job.
Francis was asked Friday during his last public event in Kenya what young people can do to prevent their friends and family members from being seduced by radical ideologies that make them want to leave their loved ones behind to go join extremist groups.
Kenyans make up the largest contingent of foreign fighters in the Somali based al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab, which has staged a series of attacks in Kenya.
Francis said the first thing to do is to ensure that young people have an education and a job. He said: “If a young person has no work, what kind of a future does he or she have? That’s where the idea of being recruited comes from.”
Pope Francis urged Kenyan youths to resist the temptation of corruption, saying it’s like sugar: You develop a taste for it but it’s ultimately terrible for you.
Francis spoke off-the-cuff Friday to thousands of young people gathered in Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium, and reflected on problems raised by two young Kenyans, including tribalism, extremism and corruption, which is a major obstacle in Kenya.
Francis said corruption isn’t just in politics. He said: “It’s in all the institutions, including in the Vatican there are cases of corruption.”
The Vatican has been wracked by recent revelations in two new books detailing gross mismanagement and waste.
Transparency International has voted the Kenyan police force as the most corrupt institution in the country every year for the last decade. Kenya ranked a low 145 out of 174 countries in the Transparency International 2014 index of how common graft is perceived to be among citizens of various countries.