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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks for liberation of Myanmar's politicians

Pope Francis continues to closely follow the crisis in Myanmar, where violence has escalated since the military coup on Feb. 1.

I would like to draw the attention of the authorities involved to the fact that dialogue prevails over repression, and harmony over discord. I also appeal to the international community to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled by violence.

The military arrested some of the former government's leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi.

I repeat the wish I expressed a month ago: that the path toward democracy taken in recent years by Myanmar may be resumed through the concrete gesture of the release of the various political leaders imprisoned.

He also asked for prayers that his upcoming trip to Iraq on Friday will be problem-free. It's the first time a pope visits the country.

For a long time I have wanted to meet those people who have suffered so much; to meet that martyred Church in the land of Abraham. Together with the other religious leaders, we shall also take another step forward in brotherhood among believers.

The Iraqi people are waiting for us: they awaited St. John Paul II, who was not permitted to go. One cannot disappoint a people for the second time. Let us pray that this journey will be a good one.

Pope Francis said this during his General Audience, where he reflected on Christian prayer.

Javier Romero