Pope Francis is very sensitive to the current situation in the indigenous community. One of his grand gestures toward them was this Mass in Chiapas (Mexico), during which he asked forgiveness for the abuse they have suffered throughout history, especially within the Church.
"How sad this is! How worthwhile it would be for each of us to examine our conscience and learn to say, 'Forgive me!'"
Now he has devoted his monthly video to the indigenous for prayers on topical issues. Pope Francis is asking for their voice to be heard, and that their culture, traditions and values are respected.
"I want to be the spokesman for the deepest longings of indigenous peoples. And I want you to add your voice to mine in a heartfelt prayer..."
The UN says that five percent of the world population is part of an indigenous population, which represents about 370 million people, most of whom live in extremely poor conditions.
Survival International says that the main problems they face are racism, robbery and expulsion of their land. They are exploited by mining or logging companies, and blocked by radical environmentalists. Sometimes the people are then enslaved and forced to extract raw materials to pay a "supposed debt” to a foreigner.