Worrld leaders and social figures have been denouncing Donald Trump and his ridiculous executive actions left and right. It should come as no surprise that the Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic faith, would eventually speak up against America’s budding tyrant.
Pope Francis has been one of the most progressive Popes in recent history, and he often speaks out against injustice in whatever form it takes. He recently repeated an earlier appeal that he gave to Trump, stating that the world should work to build bridges, not walls. The appeal came just days after Trump signed his executive order that bans Muslims from seven nations from entering the United States.
Pope Francis did not directly reference Trump while making his statement. When he finished with his speech, he reminded the audience that day was both the day of the St. Josephine Bakhita feast and the official church reflection day for human trafficking victims. The human trafficking reference is clearly meant to criticize the travel ban, and St. Josephine Bakhita was a slave from Sudan in the 1800s who escaped to Europe where she accepted the faith and decided to become a nun. While such a comment from the Pope might seem innocuous, it should be remembered that Sudan was included in the list of countries from which Muslims are banned.
The Pope went on to explain that responding to evil with evil will never solve any problem, and that the only way to defeat evil is with equal good. He then exclaimed that a true Christian believer would never threaten someone else with revenge or spite, and the offenses taken should be overcome and defeated with forgiveness, not escalation.
The announcements were made during the Pope’s weekly catechism teachings, which occur every Wednesday. Those lessons are centered around general religious concepts of peace, hope, and forgiveness. This appeal isn’t the first time that Pope Francis has called for better behavior from world leaders. He made the same statement last year when he visited the U.S. border with Mexico. He was asked about then-presidential candidate Trump’s promise to erect a wall between the two countries, and he said that anyone who agrees with building a wall can not call themselves a Christian.
The Pope is not alone in his critique of Trump and the new policies he wants to put in place. Even the Vatican newspaper stated that such actions as a travel ban and a border wall would do nothing but hurt the economy of the United States. The entire catholic faith seems to be rising in opposition to the faux-Christian claims of Trump and those closest to him.
Pope Francis not only made his statements regarding his opinions on Trump, but he also asked for his audience to pray for the Muslim Rohingya minority in Burma, which is also called Myanmar. That minority is facing social discrimination at the hands of their official government, and despite the fact they aren’t Christians, the Pope understands that they are still brothers and sisters of all humanity. They are good people who have been forced to suffer for decades, and they are constantly killed and tortured simply for their religious traditions. If such persecution were to befall Christians, the entire catholic faith would be in an uproar. The Pope’s comments essentially ask why such a reaction would only come from the killing of Christians.
There are only about one million Muslim Rohingya left, but they have no legal citizenship and after often called illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. However, many families who are classified as such have lived in Myanmar for hundreds of years. Estimates say that roughly 100,000 of them are still living in refugee camps with horrible conditions.