bangladesh

POPE’S MESSAGE | Bangladesh, Myanmar youths are a sign of hope for Asia

Pope Francis waved during his Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 3. Advent is a time to be watchful and alert to the ways one strays from God’s path, but also to signs of His presence in other people and in the beauty of the world, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY — Young people in Myanmar and Bangladesh are a source of hope for a peaceful future in their countries after years of war and suffering, Pope Francis said.

As is customary, at his general audience Dec. 6, the first after his Nov. 27-Dec. 2 trip to Asia, Pope Francis reviewed his visit.

"In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: A future that doesn't belong to those who build weapons, but to those who sow brotherhood," the pope said.

Pope expresses satisfaction with meetings on Rohingya crisis

Pope Francis answered questions from journalists aboard his flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Rome Dec. 2

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BANGLADESH -- Well aware he was disappointing some people by not using the word "Rohingya" publicly in Myanmar, Pope Francis said his chief concern had been to get a point across, and he did."If I would have used the word, the door would have closed," he told reporters Dec. 2 on his flight from Dhaka, Bangladesh, to Rome.

He spent almost an hour answering reporters' questions after his six-day trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, but insisted that most of the questions be about the trip.

Rohingya crisis shows danger of identity politics

A Rohingya family sat outside their tent Nov. 20 at a refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. More than 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to neighboring Bangladesh from Myanmar. Myanmar considers the group undocumented Muslims from Rakhine state and has not granted them standing as a recognized ethnic group in the country.

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- The themes chosen by the local bishops for Pope Francis' visits to Myanmar and Bangladesh -- "Love and peace" and "Harmony and peace" -- sounded naive or just too "nicey-nice" to some people.

But when love, peace and harmony are missing, the situation is pretty much hell on earth. The Rohingya refugees from Myanmar now living in teeming camps in Bangladesh could testify to that.

Pope Francis, on the other hand, wanted to testify to the Gospel. And that meant emphasizing love, peace and harmony.

Defend God's image by defending the Rohingya, pope urges

Pope Francis touched the head of a young woman as he met Rohingya refugees from Myanmar during an interreligious and ecumenical meeting for peace in the garden of the archbishop's residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 1.

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Each human being is created in the image and likeness of God, yet so often people desecrate that image with violence, as seen in the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya minority, Pope Francis said.

"Today, the presence of God is also called 'Rohingya,'" the pope said Dec. 1 after meeting, clasping hands with and listening intently to 16 Rohingya who have found shelter in Bangladesh.

"They, too, are images of the living God," Pope Francis told a gathering of Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu leaders gathered in Dhaka for an interreligious meeting for peace.

Aid workers see humanitarian crisis as Rohingya flee to Bangladesh

Exhausted Rohingya refugees rested on the shore in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, after crossing by boat through the Bay of Bengal Sept. 10.

OX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks.

Raising awareness of poor labor, trafficking practices at interfaith meeting in St. Louis

Rescue workers looked for trapped garment workers at the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Savar, Bangladesh April 26. At least 1,000 people died in the April 24 collapse of a building housing factories that made low-cost garments for Western brands.

The recent collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story commercial building that housed garment factory workers in Savar, Bangladesh, has become a prime example of the need for corporations to make responsible decisions that protect lives and implement safe working conditions for all.

More than 1,000 died and approximately 2,500 additional people were injured in the April 24 collapse, one of the deadliest garment factory accidents in history. Media reports indicated that warnings had been made about cracks found in the building, but factory workers were ordered to return to work.

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