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Pope Returns Home With 12 Refugees in Lesbos
International

Pope Returns Home With 12 Refugees in Lesbos

Pope Francis took three families of Syrian refugees back to Rome on Saturday after visiting the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis at a camp in Greece where migrants wept at his feet, kissed his hand and begged for help.
At a sprawling fenced complex on the Aegean island of Lesbos, adults and children broke down in tears before the head of the Roman Catholic church, after their onward journey to Europe was cut short by an EU decision to block a migrant route used by a million people fleeing conflict since early 2015, Reuters reported.
While borders have now largely been shut for migrants, Francis symbolically took a small group of refugees with him on his aircraft as he left the island after a five-hour visit. “The Pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children,” a statement issued by the Vatican said.
The individuals were selected from lots drawn, media reports said. They had been in camps before a deal between the EU and Turkey came into effect to halt the migrant flow on March 20.
Sant’Egidio, a Christian community which offers help for those in need and headquartered in Rome, will be looking after the families.

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