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Pope decries violence in Myanmar, Peru and Ukraine

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Chan Thar, Myanmar (Photo credit Vatican News)

Pope Francis has made an impassioned appeal for an end to the violence in Myanmar, also known as Burma, where a Catholic Church was destroyed.

Following his Sunday Angelus address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope expressed his sorrow for the tragic events taking place in Myanmar, recalling specifically the attacks on places of worship, including the recent arson and destruction of the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Chan Thar, one of the oldest and most important places of worship in the country.

The Pope said he is close to the civilian population, suffering greatly in many cities, and he prayed that the conflict may end soon and a new time may open up marked by forgiveness, love, and peace. He then invited all present in the Square to join him in praying a Hail Mary for Myanmar.

Violence in Myanmar

In the wake of the recent destruction of the church by the Burmese army and other violence, the religious leaders in Myanmar, including Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, launched a "passionate appeal for peace," urging that "all of us need to undertake the pilgrimage of peace."

Since the 2021 military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government, the southeast Asian nation has suffered a series of political, social, and economic crises and has descended into a spiral of violence.

Thousands of people have subsequently been arrested or killed without cause.

Appeals for Peru, Ukraine, and Cameroon

The Pope also decried violence in Ukraine and Peru while expressing his hope that steps toward peace can continue to come. 

Pope Francis said he was concerned about the critical situation in Peru and called for dialogue and peaceful solutions to the crisis. The Pope united his voice with that of the Peruvian Bishops in saying, "no to violence from wherever it comes!, no to death!"

In Peru, demonstrations continue to intensify in the South American nation's capital of Lima, as more protesters arrive from the Andean region demanding the resignation of the President and calling for immediate elections.

The Holy Father requested to pray for the Latin American country.

The Pope also made another heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine, recalling the great pain suffered by the Ukrainian people, as the war continues to rage on for almost an entire year. He prayed that the Lord may give them comfort and support.

Lastly, the Pope turned his attention to Cameroon, where he noted positive developments that brought hopes for a resolution of the conflict in the anglophone regions. He offered his encouragement to all involved in the implementation of peace-seeking agreements to persevere in the way of dialogue and mutual understanding, as only in encountering one another can the future be built together.

In Cameroon, the nation's government and some separatist factions in the English-speaking regions of the country have agreed to enter into a process aimed at resolving a conflict that has killed over 6,000 people. - Vatican News


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