Pope begins visit to Myanmar

World November 27, 2017 08:00

rangoon - Pope Francis landed in Myanmar on Monday morning. This is the first visit of a Catholic church leader to the Southeast Asian country, which is predominantly Buddhist.

The program also includes a meeting between the Argentinian and Aung San Suu Kyi, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and de facto government leader of Myanmar.

In Myanmar, only 700,000 of the 51 million inhabitants are Roman Catholic. Many of them have traveled to the capital Rangoon in recent days to catch a glimpse of the pope.

In the crisis about the Muslim minority of the Rohingya, who overshadows the pope's journey, Suu Kyi has been internationally criticized. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have already fled Myanmar to neighboring Bangladesh.

On Thursday, the Pope will travel to Bangladesh for an interreligious meeting, in which Rohingya will also participate. Only Pope John Paul II has been in Bangladesh so far.

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