Pope Francis has urged respect for human rights as he began a two-nation Asia tour in Sri Lanka Tuesday January 13.
Pope Francis bore a message of peace and ceasefire after a decades-long civil war. His visit is purposeful and preaching unity in a country that’s struggling because of a 37-year conflict that pitted troops against Tamil separatists.
This is Pope Francis’ second visit to Asia, he will also be visiting Philippines, a citadel of Christianity in the region. He is expected to attract one of the biggest-ever gatherings for a head of the Catholic Church.
Nevertheless, in mostly Buddhist Sri Lanka, which has witnessed a rise in religious violence in recent years, Pope Francis is focusing on the role of the Church in a diverse society. “The great work of rebuilding must embrace… promoting human dignity, respect for human rights, and the full inclusion of each member of society,” the pope said.