- Dec 9, 2019
For fellow refugees, members of the U.N. refugee team at the Rio Olympics “represent all of us … they represent the strength it takes to come from nothing and being considered a ‘nobody,’ to becoming a champion.”
Pope Francis on Tuesday appealed for peace in Syria, saying the only solution is political, complaining that sometimes the same nations pledging support for peace are the ones supplying weapons for the conflict, and expressing support to Syrian Christians “for the discrimination they have to bear.”
It’s not that the Vatican is saying the carnage in question, either from a century ago in Armenia or the present in Iraq and Syria, doesn’t rise to the level of a “genocide.” It’s instead that the word “genocide,” as terrifying and awful as it sounds, almost isn’t enough to capture the full reality of the horror involved.
Pope Francis said Monday that the United Nations-sponsored World Refugee Day is a chance to “build peace through justice,” urging Westerners to encounter, welcome and listen to new arrivals in their societies. “Fear often translates into anxiety,” he said, urging host societies not to be paralyzed by fear.
Most refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) face acute problems, which include living in abominable conditions in makeshift housing, poverty, lack of employment and very little access to quality healthcare and education. June 20, the UN World Refugee Day, is a chance to turn that around.
“It makes no difference where arms come from; they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world,” Pope Francis told the United Nations World Food Program on Monday. “As a result, wars are fed, not persons.”