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Vatican spokesman recalls plight of refugees

June 25, 2012

In his weekly editorial, the director of the Holy See Press Office remembered refugees who died “during their dramatic journeys to escape persecution, to escape human rights violations, to escape hunger.”

“They died from suffocation in trucks, they died of thirst and hunger crossing deserts, they die in attacks by robbers, they die passing over rivers and mountains, they die trying to traverse the sea packed in some of the smallest and most crowded boats that have ever existed,” said Father Federico Lombardi. “It is said that there have been 20,000 deaths in recent years as people try to get to Europe, with nearly 3,000 in the last year among those trying to reach Italy by crossing the Mediterranean.”

“But people are not just trying to get to rich countries,” he added. “In recent months, more than 70,000 people have sought refuge in the Mberra camp in Mauritania after fleeing from Mali, which is divided by civil war … This is one of the biggest challenges for believers and people of good who truly want, at last, to start to build a better world.”


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