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Francis to Bangui’s refugees: “We are all brothers and sisters!”

Aleteia - published on 11/29/15

“Peace without friendship, tolerance and forgiveness is not possible..."

On his visit to the camp set up in the parish of St. Sauver, Francis said; “Peace without friendship, tolerance and forgiveness is not possible and each and every one of us needs to do our bit”

Via Andrea Tornielli, in Bangui

Let’s repeat together again: “We are brothers and sisters”. The guests at the St. Sauveur refugee camp in Bangui – which hosts 3300 people, mainly women and children –, belted out the words “I Kwé i yèkè a ita” “We are brothers and sisters!” three times.

After his visit to the country’s authorities, Francis decided to pay a visit to one of the Central African capital’s refugee camps. According to ACNUR, there are at least 75,000 refugees in the capital. A crowd of people waited for the Pope for hours , in the parish complex that has been turned into a makeshift camp to accommodate the refugees. Children wrote some message on pieces of white cloth.

“I greet all of you present here,” Francis said taking the microphone, “and I would like to tell you that I read what the children wrote: peace, forgiveness, unity, love… “We must work and do all that we can for peace, but peace without friendship, tolerance and forgiveness is not possible and each and every one of us needs to do our bit.”

“I wish you and all the people of the Central African Republic, peace, a great peace among you,” Francis said. “May you live in peace, no matter what your ethnicity, culture, religion or social status… May we all live in peace, because we are brothers and sisters. I would like us all to repeat together: we are brothers and sisters! And so we want peace!”

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