Pope Francis urged religious leaders in Myanmar to peaceful coexistence

© 2017 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto Pope Francis. Archival photoPope Francis urged religious leaders in Myanmar to peaceful coexistence© 2017 AFP / Vincenzo Pinto

Pope Francis, who is on an Apostolic visit to Myanmar, called on the leaders of all religious communities in the country to resolve all disputes «peacefully like brothers,» in the spirit of «unity in diversity», said on Tuesday Myanmar online portal to a mizzima report.

During the 40-minute meeting with leaders of Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities in Myanmar, the head of the Vatican called on those present to «peace and fraternal coexistence of different religious communities, as the only way to the future», — stated in the message.

«If you argue, then argue like brothers who reconcile after dispute,» said Pope Francis, quoted by the publication, citing the official representative of the Vatican to the media by Greg Burke.

The head of the Catholic Church never used the word «Rohingya» in a speech before religious leaders of Myanmar, according to the portal.

More than half a million Rohingya (Rohingya), ethnic Bengalis-Muslims living in Rakhine state in Myanmar fled to the border areas of neighboring Bangladesh over the last three months, after organized militant attacks-Rohingya in Myanmar’s border posts and military units, and large-scale response operation Myanmar military.

The refugees are currently in camps for displaced persons in the territory of Bangladesh. Myanmar and Bangladesh signed last week a Protocol on repatriation. In accordance with this document, the repatriation process should begin in mid-January, 2018.