Pope to visit Bangladesh, Myanmar on Rohingya mission

Prothom Alo English | Update:

Pope Francis. Reuters file photoPope Francis will visit Myanmar and Bangladesh next month on a six-day mission, it was announced from the Vatican City on Tuesday, reports Gulf Today.

The Pope is likely to meet their political and religious leaders and raise the issue of Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar persecution, according to the report.

Francis will fly to Bangladesh on 30 November.

However, he is scheduled to set off on 26 November, his first stop being Yangon.

The report said on 28 November, the pontiff will travel to Myanmar's modern capital Naypyidaw, where he will be received by president Htin Kyaw and meet the country's civilian leader and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi has drawn international criticism for failing to stop or condemn violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where over half a million minority Rohingya Muslims have fled a deadly army crackdown since 25 August, wrote Gulf Today.

Francis, who has decried the persecution of the Rohingya, is expected to raise their plight during his visit to Myanmar.

On 29 November, Francis will celebrate mass at the Kyaikkasan Ground stadium in Yangon before holding meetings with Buddhist monks and later with the country's bishops at St Mary's cathedral, the report said.

In Bangladesh, on 30 November, Francis will meet president Abdul Hamid and give an address after visiting the National Martyr's Memorial monument honouring those killed in the country's 1971 war of independence, the report said.

On 1 December, Francis will celebrate an open-air mass in Dhaka's Suhrawardy Udyan Park before holding meetings with premier Sheikh Hasina, Bangladeshi bishops and other faith leaders.

On 2 December, Francis will wrap up his trip with a visit to a home run by the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa and address priests, religious seminarians and novices.

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