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Rome Reports

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Emotional Pope Francis asks Rohingya to forgive world's indifference to their tragedy

Pope Francis concluded the interreligious and ecumenical encounter in Dhaka with some moving words for the Rohingya. First, he asked them for forgiveness.

“In the name of everyone, of those who have persecuted you, hurt you; above all, for the indifference of the world, I ask for your forgiveness. I'm sorry.”

The pope assured the Rohingya are the “image of a living God” and reminded they have suffered a difficult tragedy. Thus, he asked the world to help them. 

“Let's keep doing good for them, helping them. Let's keep mobilizing ourselves so their rights are recognized. Let's keep our hearts open. Let's not look away. The presence of God today is also called 'Rohingya.'”

Although he has already done it various times in Rome, this was the first time the pope said the word “Rohingya” during his Asian tour.

In this encounter, he greeted 16 refugees from three families who belong to this Mulsim minority that is being subjected to an ethnic cleansing in neighboring Myanmar.