Pope: Welcoming migrants is best insurance against terrorist acts

Opening the door to migrants is the best way to prevent "hateful acts of terrorism," Pope Francis said Saturday, reiterating his concern for the millions of people who are fleeing from poverty and conflict.

The pontiff's remarks, delivered during a meeting with a Jesuit group, came as Europe is struggling with the biggest influx of refugees since World War II, and controversy rages in Germany about Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migration policy.

"I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm human welcome," Francis said.

"Remember that authentic hospitality is a profound gospel value that nurtures love and is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism," he added, recalling the global scale of the refugee crisis.

"Tragically, more than 65 million persons are forcibly displaced around the globe. This unprecedented number is beyond all imagination. The displaced population of today's world is now larger than the entire population of Italy," the pope noted.

Francis, the son of Italian expats to Argentina, is a vocal champion of migrants and other destitute people. Earlier this year, he visited a refugee camp in Greece and returned to the Vatican with 12 Syrians, who were offered shelter by a Catholic association in Rome.

Last update: Sat, 17/09/2016 - 13:42
Author: 

More from World

Egypt's top court revokes police power on protests

Egypt's top court has quashed power granted to police to ban street protests.

Indonesian police release seven accused of treason

Indonesian police on Saturday released seven people, including two former generals and a rock star, a day after they...

Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashes into sea

An Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashed into the sea on Saturday, police said. 

At least 17 dead in latest Chinese coal mine accident

An explosion has killed at least 17 workers at a coal mine in northern China and 10 miners remain trapped, state...

Hawkish state-run Chinese paper slams Trump's Taiwan call as "petty"

China's most hawkish state-run tabloid denounced the phone call between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US...