Pope Francis Urges European Nations to Open Borders for Refugees

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syrian-refugees

Pope Francis urged nations to “open their hearts and open their doors” to refugees on Wednesday, appealing for compassion for those waiting at closed European borders made to feel like exiles abandoned from God.

“Immigrants today are suffering outdoors, without food, and cannot get in. They don’t feel welcome,” Pope Francis told the 40,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square to hear his General Audience, praising “nations and leaders who open their hearts and open their doors.”

The situation can lead to questions like “Where is God? How is it possible that so much suffering can befall innocent men, women and children?”, he said.

“They are there at the border because so many doors and so many hearts are closed.”

More than 1.1 million migrants and refugees fleeing war and failed states flowed into the European Union in 2015 and the influx has continued, prompting countries straddling the main migration corridor through the Balkans to the wealthy north of the EU to seal their borders, trapping tens of thousands in Greece.

“Immigrants today are suffering outdoors, without food, and cannot get in. They don’t feel welcome,” Pope Francis told the 40,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Square to hear his General Audience, praising “nations and leaders who open their hearts and open their doors.”

The situation can lead to questions like “Where is God? How is it possible that so much suffering can befall innocent men, women and children?”, he said.

“They are there at the border because so many doors and so many hearts are closed.”