Pope Francis’s Myanmar Speech Avoids Reference to Rohingya

Pope Francis left out any specific mention of the embattled Muslim Rohingya community during his keynote speech in Myanmar on Tuesday. Human-rights groups were eagerly awaiting the talk and had urged the pope to use the term as a show of support for the community, which is being targeted in what the U.N. has called a “human-rights nightmare” amid reported ethnic cleansing. More than 620,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August. The Catholic Church in the country had warned Francis the term might cause trouble for Catholics living under Myanmar’s authoritarian regime. “The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity, respect for the rule of law, and respect for a democratic order that enables each individual and every group—none excluded—to offer its legitimate contribution to the common good,” Francis said.