Pope Francis uses term Rohingya in Bangladesh meeting

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Pope Francis uses term Rohingya in Bangladesh meeting

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Reuters

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The Pope’s comment to the refugees was made in an improvised remark

Pope Francis has met a group of Muslim Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and referred to them by name for the first time on his Asian visit.

The Pope told a group of 16 refugees at an interfaith meeting in the capital Dhaka: “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya.”

He refrained from using the term on his earlier visit to Myanmar, which does not regard Rohingya as an ethnic group.

Some 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar since August.

The Pope had been criticised by rights groups for not using the term in Myanmar.

His comment to the refugees in Dhaka was made in an improvised remark and was not in his speech to the interfaith meeting.

  • What you need to know about Rohingya crisis
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The number of Catholics in Bangladesh is very small, about 350,000 people, some 0.2% of the population, smaller even than the 600,000 in Myanmar.

Earlier, the Pope ordained 16 priests at an outdoor Mass in Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan park.

He told the crowd: “I know that many of you came from afar, for a trip for more than two days. Thank you for your generosity. This indicates the love you have for the Church.”

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