VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will wade into the religious and political minefield of Myanmar's crackdown on Rohingya Muslims and the effects of their exodus to Bangladesh when he visits both countries next month.
The Vatican on Tuesday released the itinerary for the Nov. 26-Dec. 2 trip, which has taken on importance since Myanmar security forces responded to Rohingya militant attacks with a broad crackdown in August. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in what the United Nations has called "textbook ethnic cleansing."
The itinerary makes no mention of a papal meeting with Rohingya in either country. Francis, however, is likely to refer to their plight as he has already denounced the "persecution of our Rohingya brothers."
The trip motto is peace and love among people of different faiths.