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Kenyans Welcome Pope at First Africa Stop

Pope Francis kicked off his five day trip to Africa in Nairobi on Wednesday despite conflicts between Christians and Muslims in the region.

. Pope Francis waves in greeting as Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, center left, and his wife Margaret look on following the Pope's arrival at the Jommo Kenyatta International airport in Nairobi on Nov. 25, 2015.

Brushing aside security concerns, Pope Francis arrived in Kenya on Wednesday on his first-ever trip to Africa and urged Kenyans to work for peace and forgiveness amid a wave of extremist violence on the continent that threatens to disrupt his trip.

Simon Maina / AFP - Getty Images

. Kenyans wait to see the convoy transporting the pope.

During Pope Francis' address at Kenya's State House, he called for ethnic and religious reconciliation at the start of his first tour of Africa, where he will address a fast-growing Catholic population and seek to heal Christian-Muslim divisions.

Jennifer Huxta / AFP - Getty Images

. Pope Francis stands beside Kenyatta as they watch traditional dancers at Jommo Kenyatta International airport.

At the airport Francis was presented with a bouquet of flowers and choirs that sang "karibu baba" in Swahili — lyrics which translate to "welcome father."

Simon Maina / AFP - Getty Images

. A father with his children holding a portrait of the pontiff wait to see Pope Francis' convoy.

Jennifer Huxta / AFP - Getty Images

. Pope Francis waves as he passes a crowd.

"Experience shows that violence, conflict and terrorism feed on fear, mistrust and the despair born of poverty and frustration," he said during his address. "Ultimately, the struggle against these enemies of peace must be carried on by men and women who fearlessly believe in, and bear honest witness to, the great spiritual and political values which inspired the birth of the nation."

Tony Karumba / AFP - Getty Images

. Crowds of people cheer from the roadside as the pope's convoy drives through the capital.

Nichole Sobecki / Getty Images

. Kenyan bishops attends a welcome ceremony for the pontiff's arrival at the State House.

The pope's visit comes almost eight months after an attack by Islamic extremists that left 150 people dead at a mostly Christian university in Garissa.

Daniel Dal Zennaro / EPA

. Pope Francis and Kenyatta stand during a ceremony outside the State House.

Andrew Medichini / AP

. Pope Francis shakes hands with Kenyatta at the State House.

The pontiff's six-day pilgrimage will also take him to Uganda and the Central African Republic, a country wracked by fighting between Christians and Muslims.

— Associated Press

Andrew Medichini / AP