Dhaka (Agenzia Fides) - It is urgent to face the crisis linked to the presence and future of the Rohingya refugees: this is the appeal addressed by the main leaders of the Catholic Church in Asia to the Bangladesh Interior Minister, Asaduzzaman Khan. Among the leaders there were Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka; Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, President of Caritas Internationalis and Archbishop of Manila; Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC). The leaders said they are ready to give a contribution to political and social institutions in order to address the situation in the Cox Bazar refugee camps, where Christian leaders paid a visit.
Minister Asaduzzaman said he urged Christian delegations to mobilize the global opinion to resolve the Rohingya crisis and the delegation discussed possible ways to resolve the crisis.
As Agenzia Fides learns, Cardinal Bo said after his visit to Cox Bazar: "Bangladesh and Myanmar are the new areas of exodus of the 21st century. Our journey of faith requires that we accompany our brothers and sisters who migrate, voluntary or forced". The Cardinal spoke with compassion of over one million Rohingyas who fled across the border with Bangladesh from Myanmar, and live in refugee camps, in a "buffer zone" along the border between the two countries: "We are here as your brothers. We have a profound sense of friendship and empathy. In Myanmar, thousands of internally displaced people still have to return home. Thousands are migrant workers all over Asia. As neighbors, Myanmar and Bangladesh, we not only share borders, but share our tragedies. We are sad together, but we also hope together for a world without war and displacement".
Since 2017, the Rohingya, an ethnic minority of Muslim faith located in the Burmese state of Arakan, have experienced a sharp increase in the violence of the Burmese army while the government considers them "illegal immigrants" from Bangladesh and denies them citizenship and other basic rights. Violence against the Rohingya, who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, has attracted the attention of the United Nations, the international community and Christian communities in Asia. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/8/2019)