Pope: “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya”

The Pope meets a group of Rohingya in Dhaka

Pope: “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya”

Francis’ moving encounter with the refugees who fled from persecution in Myanmar: “I ask you for forgiveness for the indifference of the world. Let us continue to help them, let us not close our hearts, let us not look away”

t is a moving encounter, made of glances, gestures and tears, more than words. A group of Rohingya refugees climbed on the stage at the end of the inter-religious encounter. After the ecumenical prayer presided over by the Anglican bishop, who kneeled in front of the Pontiff and asked to be blessed, the Rohingya approached. They are a group of sixteen, 12 men, two women and two girls. The two women are wearing the veil as well as the niqab on their faces, but they eventually lower it. Thousands of people welcome them with applause and after the first greetings, when Bergoglio speaks briefly to them, the images and audio are cut off.

They parade one by one to greet the Pope, who decided to stay with them even after the end of the public event. Francis rests his hand on the head of some of them, he listened with a serious face and heartfelt participation to their stories and their requests. Bergoglio launched a strong public appeal in their favor last August, he spoke about minority’rights to the Burmese authorities, and yesterday, he asked the international community to intervene in this humanitarian emergency and finally today, he made visible his closeness and sharing in their suffering.

The Pope told them, “We are close to you, your situation is very harsh. In the name of all those who hurt you, for the indifference of the world, I ask for forgiveness. Dear brothers and sisters - added Bergoglio - all of us are created in God’s image, we are all images of the living God. Your religion teaches us that at first God took a bit of salt and threw it into the water that is the soul of all men, and each one of us carries some of this salt. These brothers and sisters carry within the salt of God “.

Some Rohingya cry. “Dear brothers and sisters, just let the world see what the egoism of the world does with the image of God. Let us continue to do good to them, to help them, let us continue to move so that their rights are recognized, let us not close our hearts. We shall not look away. The presence of God today is also called Rohingya. Each of us shall give their own answer. Then Francis finally assured that he will do “all I can to help you”.

Fri, 12/01/2017 - 19:30
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