TODAY   |  July 26, 2013

Pope Francis visits dangerous Rio slum

Walking confidently through a dangerous Brazilian neighborhood, Pope Francis looked right at home among the poorest of the poor in Rio on Thursday as he calls for Brazil to do more for social justice. NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>> francis is using his high profile trip to brazil to focus on economic and social inequality and security forces are keeping a sharp focus on his safety. ann thompson has the latest from rio de janeiro . good morning, ann .

>> good morning natalie. rio is a city of extremes. the very rich and the very poor and pope francis is trying to connect the two worlds. a catholic woodstock and pope francis got a rock star reception. from a million here for world youth day . one young woman so overcome she could barely get the words out until the pope came to the rescue. unlike monday's mayhem, this ride in rio was joyous and safe. security is now everywhere you look. warships off the coast, shoulders among the tourists along the beach. sharp shooters on the roof overlooking the pope's speech at a soccer field . this is a big test for rio which will host soccer's world cup last year and the 2016 summer olympics . security for both events will be run from this brand new $48 million command center . he assembled the latest technology including more than 1,000 traffic and security cameras positioned across the metro area .

>> you can see the roots.

>> yeah.

>> these are the papal routes here?

>> yeah.

>> pope francis shows no indication he is worried about security, walking through one of rio 's most dangerous slums. an advocate for social justice , the pope called for the wealthy of brazil to do more for those who have so little. and that theme continues today as pope francis , like he did on holy thursday in rome, meet with young juvenile offenders , natalie.

>>> ann thompson in rio . thank