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Mel Lehman visited the Umayyad mosque several times in the course of his humanitarian work in Syria.  "I always felt a warm welcome," he said.

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In 2001 Pope John Paul II visited the Umayyad Mosque:

The Umayyad Mosque has a long and dis-tinguished history.  First it was a temple. Then it was the Church of St John the Baptist which is why the shrine of John the Baptist is there. Then it was changed to a Mosque in 715 CE.

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