Refugee camps like concentration camps says Pope

Despite sharp criticism for comparing refugee camps to concentration camps, Pope Francis is standing by his point of view.

He has made the statement twice during the past fortnight: once on Saturday on during his in-flight press conference when he left Egypt.

He was first reported saying on 22 April when he was meeting with some migrants at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome.

He was speaking to them about his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year.

He continued with the comparison, saying the camps are like the Nazi concentration camps because “migrants are penned in and prevented from leaving.”

Both Jewish and German groups reacted in shock when his statement was reported.

The German response was to ask Francis if he’s made a linguistic error.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said the Pope’s comparison wasn’t appropriate and he should find an alternative.

“The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult, and deserve still greater international attention, but concentration camps they certainly are not,” said AJC CEO David Harris.

“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 added.


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