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Pope Francis to World Leaders: “Open Your Doors to Migrants”

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Pope Francis renewed his appeal on behalf of the tens of thousands struggling to enter other countries as they flee war and violence, asking global leaders to “open their hearts” and doors to migrants and refugees. “How many of our brothers are currently living a real and dramatic situation of exile, far away from their homeland, with their eyes still full of the rubble of their homes, and in their heart the fear, and often, unfortunately, the pain of having lost loved ones,” the Pope said. Such cases can often lead one to ask questions such as “where is God? How is it possible that so much suffering befalls innocent men, women and children?” he said. He lamented that migrants and refugees fleeing violence in their homeland frequently find “closed doors” when attempting to enter another country. These people suffer due to a loss of land, a lack of food, and they “don’t feel welcome,” he said, adding that “I like it a lot when I see nations, governments, who open their hearts and open their doors” to the migrants and refugees seeking to enter. Pope Francis explained that we also experience a sort of exile today when experiences of suffering and death make us think that God has abandoned us. “God is not absent,” he said, explaining that this also goes for the “dramatic situations” of war and violence today. He said that “we must not give in to despair,” but continue “to be confident that good overcomes evil and that the Lord dries every tear and frees us from every fear.”