Catholic World News

Pope draws attention to plight of Rohingya Muslims, human trafficking victims

February 09, 2017

In remarks made following his February 8 general audience, Pope Francis appealed for prayers for the Rohingya Muslims, who suffer intense persecution in Myanmar (Burma).

“I would like to pray with you today in a special way for our Rohingya brothers and sisters: sent away from Myanmar, they go from one place to another, unwanted,” the Pope said to those gathered in Paul VI Audience Hall.

“They have suffered for years,” he continued. “They have been tortured, killed, simply because they continue to follow their own traditions and their Muslim faith.”

The Pope also recalled that February 8, the memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita, was a day of prayer against human trafficking and that February 11, the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the World Day of the Sick.

Referring to human trafficking, he said, “I hope that those who hold responsibility in government will combat this scourge with determination, giving voice to our smallest brothers, humiliated in their dignity. Every effort must be made to vanquish this shameful and intolerable crime.”

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