Dhaka, Nov 30: Pope Francis arrived in Bangladesh on Thursday, the second and last stop of his six-day two-tion South Asia tour. He became the first Catholic leader to visit Dhaka since 1986. On Thursday, the pontiff will visit a memorial for the Bangladesh war of independence in 1971 after which he will hold a meeting with President Abdul Hamid and then deliver a speech at the presidential palace.
Pope Francis arrives in Bangladesh
On Friday, the Pope is expected to meet a group of Rohingya refugees, as well as hold talks with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasi. His Bangladesh visit comes days after a priest, Walter William Rosario, went missing in tore district, where a Christian businessman was murdered last year.
Rosario, had been organising a trip to the Pope's Mass in Dhaka which will take place on Friday. The pontiff arrived in Myanmar on November 27 where he held meetings with President U Htin Kyaw, de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Army General Min Aung Hlaing and representatives of different faiths.
But in all his sermons in Myanmar, the Pope avoided the term Rohingya, the Muslim community of whom 620,000 people have fled to Bangladesh after a military crackdown in late August, the BBC reported. He had been warned by his Catholic representatives in the country not to use the term for fear of alieting the Buddhist majority and causing difficulties for the tion's 600,000 Catholics.
There are fewer Catholics in Bangladesh than there are in Myanmar. They make up about 0.2 per cent of the population, about 450,000 people, compared to about 600,000 in Myanmar. (IANS)