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The presence of God today is also called Rohingya
December 01, 2017

The presence of God today is also called Rohingya
Pope Francis blesses a Rohingya girl. Photo by Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters

Washington, D.C., 1 December 2017 – Pope Francis brought attention to a worsening refugee crisis while traveling in Bangladesh this week. More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across the border from Rakhine State in Myanmar since August, adding to an already overburdened relief effort. Many of the new arrivals are children without parents, left to survive alone the traumas they have witnessed. 

Today, the Holy Father expressed his solidarity with the Rohingya people and asked for reconciliation. “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” he said. He also addressed the need for healing, saying to a group of refugees, “in the name of all of those who have persecuted you, hurt you, I ask forgiveness. I appeal to your large hearts to give us the forgiveness we are asking.” 

“Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have been forced to flee their homes, and we are glad to see that the Holy Father has visited them and recognized their need and our responsibility,” said JRS/USA Executive Director David Robinson. “The Pope’s presence and words remind us that we are called to serve the poor and the marginalized, that we are not separate from them, and that we are all one body in Christ.” 

The Jesuit Refugee Service is committed to responding to the needs of the Rohingya people. Supported by the Church of Bangladesh, Caritas Bangladesh and local Jesuit communities, especially those in Bangladesh and Kolkata, JRS sees its work with the Rohingya as an organizational priority. Click here to learn more about JRS’s new work in Bangladesh.

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