VATICAN – Pope Francis’ skill at walking political and pastoral tightropes was put to the test in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
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Amid international condemnation of Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya people, Pope Francis will visit Myanmar and Bangladesh to recognize each nation’s struggle for independence, promote interreligious respect and encourage the minority Catholic communities.
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NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar – Faced with a powerful military keen to have martial law declared in Rakhine state, which nearly half a million people fled in three weeks, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, avoided any mention of ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya while broadly condemning human rights violations in her first major address on the issue.

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COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh – Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks.

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YANGON, Myanmar – Pope Francis is expected to focus on trying to improve the troubles of about a million ethnic Muslim Rohingya when he visits Myanmar the last week of November, reported ucanews.com.

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YANGON, Myanmar – Church officials have expressed disappointment over the refusal of Myanmar's government to grant visas to three members of a U.N. fact-finding mission to investigate alleged human rights abuses by security forces against the Rohingya minority.

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VATICAN CITY – Shortly after Pope Francis met privately with Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Holy See and Myanmar announced they were establishing full diplomatic relations.

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YANGON, Myanmar – The Catholic Church is helping to rebuild Myanmar as it emerges from six decades of military rule and isolation through peace-building efforts and education, Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon said in a recent interview with National Catholic Reporter.

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WASHINGTON – Rohingya Muslims in Burma, as well as Christians, face continued persecution, destruction of homes and places of worship, and threats to their lives, human rights organizations are warning.

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DUBLIN – The retired archbishop of Mandalay, Myanmar, said the Kachin people are "very fearful" and have "little hope of peace" any time soon.

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YANGON, Myanmar - From his residence at St. Mary's Cathedral, Cardinal Charles Bo has a front-row seat to the changes sweeping across his country. What he has witnessed ahead of the nation's Nov. 8 election — the first fully contested since 1990 — has troubled him, reported ucanews.com.

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WASHINGTON - Displaced members of Myanmar's Kachin ethnic minority are struggling with being away from their homes and the limited services available in a Catholic-run camp near the Myanmar-China border, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration.

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MANILA, Philippines - Sr. Margaret Maung doesn't wear a nun's habit, but a traditional "longyi" and a simple blouse.

Experience has taught the provincial superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions in Myanmar to embrace the country's cultural dress even while representing her faith.

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YANGON, Myanmar - Cardinal Charles Bo has asked the government of Myanmar to squelch hate speech and do more to help Rohingya refugees, many of whom have fled the country and are trapped at sea as countries refuse them entry.

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January 8, 2015

A worldly Church

Tonga, Myanmar, Cape Verde — the countries read like answers from a geography quiz. They may not be the easiest places to find on a map, but these small nations will soon be represented in Rome when Pope Francis welcomes 15 new voting-eligible cardinals into the Church.

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