Pope Francis visits immigrants’ camp on the Greek island of Lesbos

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Pope Francis visits the Greek island of Lesbos this Sunday (5) to meet asylum seekers at a camp for immigrants on his second visit to the Greek island.

Francisco is on a five-day trip to Cyprus and Greece. During the trip, he highlighted the struggles of refugees and immigrants, an issue that became one of the main themes of his papacy.

On his visit to the Greek island in 2016, at the height of Europe’s immigration crisis, Francis walked through the squalid and overcrowded camp of Moria and brought 12 Syrian refugees back to Rome with him.

The Moria camp caught fire last year after becoming a symbol of Europe’s faltering response to an immigration crisis that left much of the burden to be borne by small islands like Lesbos.

This Sunday, the pope visits the temporary camp that was hastily set up after the fire in an army camp, where about 2,300 people, mostly asylum seekers, live.

Dozens of police were deployed to the scene and immigrants lined up to enter the tent where the pope was to speak.

“The issue of immigration cannot disproportionately affect countries on the borders of the European Union,” said Minister of Migration, Notis Mitarachi, on Sunday.

Greece, like other Mediterranean countries like Italy, Spain and Cyprus, has long been the gateway to the European Union for people fleeing war, poverty or persecution in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

While the number of people traveling from Turkey to Greece has dropped dramatically in recent years, the government, fearing a possible wave of refugees from Taliban-taken Afghanistan, is tightening its migration policy.

Public attitudes towards migrants have also become increasingly hostile.

Greece is being criticized by human rights groups for building closed “prison-like” detention centers for immigrants on five islands near Turkey, including Lesbos, and for intercepting migrant boats at sea.

Before the pope’s visit, about two dozen asylum seekers, some of whom have been in limbo in Lesbos for years, gathered for mass in a small Roman Catholic church.

“We hope that with this visit, maybe something can change,” said Landrid, a 42-year-old man who fled a separatist insurgency in Cameroon.

Reference: CNN Brasil

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

buy kamagra buy kamagra online $255 payday loans online same day no denial payday loans direct lenders only