Pope Francis has said that violence cannot be committed in the name of God, warning against the rise of populism that threatens peace and stability.

The pope arrived at Cairo airport on Friday and later met with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

During a speech at a Muslim-Christian conference in Egypt, the pope said no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God.

“Peace alone ... is holy and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name,” he said.

Warning against the rise of populism, the Catholic pontiff said, “Demagogic forms of populism are on the rise. These certainly do not help to consolidate peace and stability.”

He referred to poverty and exploitation as a fertile ground in which extremism easily takes root.

“It is essential that we spare no effort in eliminating situations of poverty and exploitation, where extremism more easily takes root, and in blocking the flow of money and weapons destined to those who provoke violence.”

Egypt has been under a state of emergency ever since two bombings targeted Coptic churches earlier this month. The terrorist attacks killed 45 people.

Pope Francis also said that acts that do not promote peace are “a gift to the proponents of radicalism and violence.”