Pope says ‘Rohingya’ in public for first time on Asia trip
02 December 2017 | 4:15 am
Pope Francis had an emotional meeting with Muslim refugees from Myanmar in Bangladesh on Friday, calling for them to be respected.
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Almost all European chambers of commerce remain active in Myanmar nearly two years on from a military coup that ousted a democratically-elected government and sparked a civil war.
The US, Canada, UK and Australia imposed sanctions on the election commission, energy and mining enterprises among others. The junta has said it will hold elections this year.
The sixth anniversary of the mass exodus of 740,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to Bangladesh is nearing. With no solution for finding the refugees a permanent home, the host community's patience is wearing thin.
"May he convert the hearts of those who carry out brutal atrocities, which bring shame upon all humanity," the 86-year-old said. He added that the conflict in mineral-rich eastern Congo was driven by greed, at the expense of innocent victims, and called on combatants to lay down their arms.
Pope Francis is in Africa now. The trip takes him from Democratic Republic of Congo to South Sudan. For many in the Congolese capital, meeting the Pope is historic.
A papal mass drew a crowd of over a million people to Kinshasa this week. Prayers were said for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the power of the Catholic Church is a counterweight to the state.
The leader of the Catholic Church travels to Juba along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the moderator of the Church of Scotland. The three leaders are hoping to push for peace amid continued fighting.
Returning from Africa, Pope Francis took umbrage with those who used Pope Benedict XVI's death to attack the church. He was also joined by fellow faith leaders he traveled with in defending the gay community.
Naing Myel Htet Kyaw says: “We must take up arms. My parents support that.” The 18-year-old is fighting against the military in Myanmar.
The UN has recently cut food aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Observers fear this will lead to severe health problems, and also increased crime. They say refugees must be allowed to work.
When the papal conclave elected a clergyman from Argentina as pope on March 13, 2013, the world immediately started asking questions. Ten years later, historians and theologians assess what he has achieved.
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