Pope Francis condemns the treatment of immigrants in Europe
During a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis said European countries were neglecting migrants. He denounced the way these countries are treating immigrants, saying that they are putting their own interests first.
As he met dozens of asylum seekers in Lesbos, the Pope said they were being used for political propaganda. He also criticized the walls erected by Poland and Hungary for stopping immigrants.
"In Europe there are those who insist on treating the problem as an issue that does not concern them, it is tragic. History teaches us that narrow self-interest and nationalism lead to catastrophic consequences. It is easy to influence public opinion by instilling fear. "The distant causes must be attacked, not the poor people who pay the consequences and are even used for political propaganda," the pope said.
Last month 27 people died because a dinghy sank in the Channel between France and the UK. Some people have died in the low temperatures trying to cross into Poland from Belarus. 1,650 people have been registered as missing by the International Organization for Migration while trying to cross the Mediterranean this year.
The camp the Pope visited has 2,300 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and other countries and is the epicenter of a wave of immigrants who in recent years are trying to enter Europe.
The Pope last visited Lesbos in 2016, when the island was a key entry point for more than 1 million people fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq.
Pope Francis has paid a five-day visit to Cyprus and Greece, focusing on the issue of migrants.