VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Wednesday issued a stinging criticism of atrocities against Myanmar's minority Rohingyas, saying they have been tortured and killed "simply because they want to live their culture and their Muslim faith."
"I would like to pray together with you today in a special way for our Rohingya brothers and sisters," Pope Francis said as he addressed people at the weekly general audience.
"They have been thrown out of Myanmar, moved from one place to the other because no one wants them. But they are good people, peaceful. They are not Christian. They are good people. They are our brothers and sisters," he said.
The pope issued his strong defense of the Rohingyas in unprepared remarks following last week's devastating UN report that said security forces in the north of the country had carried out mass killings, gang rapes and had burned villages.