Pope Francis meets Rohingya refugees: & # 39; Weeping & # 39; – tech2.org

Pope Francis meets Rohingya refugees: & # 39; Weeping & # 39;



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After facing criticism for not speaking out against Myanmar's treatment of Rohingya Muslims during his visit to the Southeast Asian country last week, Pope Francis defended his silence on Saturday, saying he had spoken privately about the crisis humanitarian with the leaders of the country and who believed that a more direct approach would have failed.

Francis also said he had been moved to tears during his Friday meeting with a group of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. "I cried, I tried to do it in a way that could not be seen," he said of the meeting, according to Agence-France Presse. "They also cried."

The pontiff, who spent four days in Myanmar last week, was widely criticized for not using the term "Rohingya" even once during his visit to the country, which does not officially recognize ethnic identity. group as legitimate citizens.

In general, the Pope instead chose to share more generic messages of unity during his visit, telling religious leaders in Yangon on Tuesday that "religious differences need not be a source of division and distrust, but a force for unity, forgiveness, tolerance and the wise construction of the nation. "

Speaking to reporters during his flight back to the Vatican on Saturday, after a two-day stop in Bangladesh, Francis defended his decision to bypbad the Rohingya affair during his public appearances in Myanmar.

"If I had used the word [‘Rohingya’] during an official speech, I would have closed the door," he said.

The pontiff added that he had spoken more openly about the issue in private with Myanmar's leaders, saying he was "very, very satisfied" with his meetings with the de facto leader of the country, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate peace. to whom she herself has been criticized for not defending the Rohingya, and the military chief of the country, General Min Aung Hlaing.

"It was a good conversation and the truth was not negotiable," Francis said of the meetings, according to Reuters. "For me, the most important thing is that the message is transmitted."

The United States accused the Myanmar armed forces of "ethnic cleansing" in their alleged mbad murder, rape and torture of Rohingya men, women and children living in the Rakhine State. According to Amnesty International, the military has committed atrocities that constitute crimes against humanity.


It is possible that Pope Francis did not address the Rohingya crisis directly during his stay in Myanmar, but it was a different story once he arrived in neighboring Bangladesh, which has seen an influx of more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees since August.

With the help of translators, Francis personally spoke to 16 Rohingya refugees during an interreligious meeting in Dhaka on Friday.

"In the name of all, of those who persecute them, of those who have done you wrong, above all, the indifference of the world, I ask your forgiveness," he said in an emotional speech. "Now I appeal to your great heart, so that you can grant us the forgiveness we seek"

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