VATICAN CITY (NEWSnet/AP) — Pope Francis will visit Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Singapore in September, The Vatican announced Friday.

The excursion, set for Sept. 2-13, will be the longest trip of his 11-year papacy.

Stops include Jakarta, Indonesia; Port Moresby and Vanimo, Papua New Guinea; Dili, East Timor; and Singapore.

The pope has faced health challenges in the past year, although has been able to conduct a rigorous schedule of meetings and events. He struggled with respiratory problems all winter and had to curtail participation in some Holy Week events.

In a statement announcing the visit, the Indonesia’s foreign ministry welcomed the visit.

“The visit of Pope Francis to Indonesia holds significant importance to the Indonesian people, not only for Catholics but also for all religious communities. The visit is also expected to strengthen the message of tolerance, unity and world peace,” the statement said.

Indonesia has 242 million Muslims and 29 million Christians, 8.5 million of them Catholics, according to a 2022 estimate by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.

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