In the past, Pope Francis - whose papacy so far has been widely characterised by advocacy for refugees and vulnerable minorities - has repeatedly decried violence against the mostly Muslim minority, calling them "our Rohingya brothers and sisters" and labelling the Christians who refuse to treat them humanely as "hypocrites".

But hopes were dashed as the Argentine pontiff even refused to mention the Rohingya during his two public addresses, taking the advice he had been given by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Naypyidaw, who urged him not to use the word out of concern for a backlash against the 650,000-strong Christian community living in the state.


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