Pope Francis has compared conditions in overcrowded facilities, used to house asylum seekers, to those that were in concentration camps of the Nazi German era. He reprimanded Europe for turning back on the plight of migrants by sealing borders with a refugee deal.
Pope calls European migrant centers ‘concentration camps,’ urges EU to open doors
The Pope was leading a prayer service for martyrs who fell victim to Nazism, terrorism and totalitarian regimes across the world, when he shared athe story of a Muslim refugee from a Middle Eastern country he met during a visit to a detention camp in Lesbos last year.

The man said his Christian wife suffered for her faith, as the terrorists slit her throat after she refused to throw her crucifix on the floor.

The asylum seeker and his three children were forced to flee the village and eventually made it to the Greek island of Lesbos, where they were resettled to a prison-like detention facility, visited by the Pope.

Calling the slain woman “another crown” among the modern martyrs, Francis used the occasion to decry the squalid conditions in migrant reception centers where people fleeing persecution and war found themselves to be locked and waiting for months while their applications are being processed by overstretched officials.

“I don’t know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration [type] because of the great number of people left there inside them,” the Pope said, as he was delivering a Liturgy of the World from the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome on Saturday.

The remark has promptly drawn criticism from the American Jewish Committee (ACJ), one of the leading Jewish advocacy organization in the world, with its head, David Harris, urging the Pope to “reconsider” what he described as a “regrettable choice of words.”

While saying that awareness should be raised about the difficulties migrants face in Europe, he argued that likening the shelters they live in to concentration camp is an unwarranted exaggeration.

“The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labor and the extermination of millions of people during World War II. There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy,” he said, as cited by Reuters.


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