Pope departs Thailand for Japan, bringing anti-nuclear message


BANGKOK (Information) – Pope Francis left Thailand on Saturday after a three-day go to and headed to Japan, the place he’s to go to the bottom zeros of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a part of his marketing campaign in opposition to nuclear weapons.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leaves after main the Holy Mass on the Assumption Cathedral in Bangkok, Thailand, November 22, 2019. Information/Jorge Silva

The pope, 82, was accompanied to the airport by his cousin, Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, a nun who has labored in Thai colleges for greater than 50 years and was his translator on the journey.

In Thailand, he celebrated Mass with the small Catholic minority in an overwhelmingly Buddhist nation, and spoke out in opposition to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of ladies.

In Japan, Pope Francis is predicted to show his focus to his anti-nuclear marketing campaign, notably on Sunday, when he visits Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world’s solely two cities to endure nuclear assaults.

About 400,000 individuals have been killed, both immediately or from radiation sickness or accidents ensuing from the atomic bombs that the USA dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945 and on Nagasaki three days later, because it sought to finish World Battle Two.

Francis will meet blast survivors, pray, and browse a message on nuclear weapons on the bomb epicenter in Nagasaki. He later visits Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

Within the Japanese capital, he’ll meet survivors of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Francis needs a complete ban on nuclear weapons, going additional than his predecessors, when he stated in 2017 that nations shouldn’t stockpile them, even for the aim of deterrence.

Japan stresses its distinctive standing as the one nation to have suffered atomic assaults and advocates disarmament, however nonetheless depends on the U.S. nuclear umbrella as an prolonged deterrent.

Francis, who, as a younger priest, needed to be a missionary in Japan, may even meet a few of a dwindling variety of its “Hidden Christians”, descendants of those that preserved their religion in secret throughout centuries of persecution till a ban on Christianity was lifted in 1873.

Japan is especially Buddhist and Shinto and solely about 1% of its inhabitants of about 126 million establish as Christian. Of this quantity, some 536,000 are Catholic.

Christians are disproportionately current amongst Japan’s elite, a few of whom might have additionally attended Christian non-public colleges with out adopting the faith.

Two Japanese prime ministers have been Catholics: Takashi Hara, from 1918 to 1921, and present finance minister Taro Aso, who was prime minister throughout 2008-2009.

Further reporting by Elaine Lies; Writing by Kay Johnson; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez