Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Pope pilgrims seek asylum in Brazil

About 40 Catholic pilgrims who travelled to Brazil for Pope Francis's recent visit are hoping to stay permanently by seeking political asylum.

The UN High Commission for Refugees in Brasilia said the asylum seekers who came to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day claimed they suffer persecution in their home countries, which include Pakistan, Congo and Sierra Leone.

At least a dozen pilgrims say they are persecuted as Christians; the rest say they face political persecution or are fleeing conflicts.

If was unclear how long Brazil's Justice Ministry will take to consider the asylum applications. The UN agency has said it will help the applicants.

Meanwhile, the pilgrims are being cared for by the church and the families who sheltered them during World Youth Day.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph