Pope urges 'decisive measures' on Rohingya refugees

Pope Francis Prays Alongside Rohingya Muslim Refugees During Trip To Bangladesh

Pope Francis uses term Rohingya in Bangladesh meeting

He also said "let's not turn away" from it. It was the first time the pope had used the term Rohingya on his Asia trip, and he did so in a very strong theological way. "In the name of everyone, of those who persecute you, those who hurt you, and especially of the world's indifference, I ask for your forgiveness".

The Pope will have a private visit to Tejgaon Mother Theresa House and meet priests, religious and consecrated men and women in the Holy Rosary Church on Saturday.

Pope Francis had been urged not to use the name in Myanmar to avoid provoking hardline Buddhists and making the country's Catholics a target. "I now appeal to your big heart, that you're able to grant us the forgiveness we seek".

Some 620,000 Rohingyas, who are Muslims originally from Bangladesh, have fled there after a campaign of repression that has spurred a wave of world condemnation, including from the pope.

But as in Myanmar, he refrained from using the word "Rohingya", instead referring to "refugees from Rakhine state".

Activists argued that because the Pope did not use the term while he was in Myanmar, he was complicit in its strategy to delegitimise the Rohingya plight by questioning their name and identity.

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During his visit to Myanmar, Francis met the country's two most important leaders: Suu Kyi and Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the commander-in-chief of Myanmar's armed forces.

Although he has used the word "Rohingya" in the past, Francis made a decision to listen to the advice of Myanmar's cardinal and refrain from using it during his time in Myanmar this week.

Myanmar's government denies the Rohingya are an ethnic group, insisting they are "Bengali" migrants who are not entitled to full citizenship.

The United Nations, the U.S. and the UK have accused the Myanmar military of ethnic cleansing, systematically driving the minority Muslim population from their homes through murder, rape and terror.

POPE Francis has demanded that the global community take "decisive measures" to resolve the causes of the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, breaking his recent silence over what the United Nations has declared to be a textbook case of "ethnic cleansing".

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