Pope Francis has visited a refugee centre to wash and kiss the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic refugees — a gesture of welcome at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment has risen after the Brussels and Paris attacks.
ABC reports that several of the asylum seekers were reduced to tears as the 79-year-old pontiff kneeled before them, pouring water over their feet, drying them with a towel and bending to kiss them.
Those picked for this Easter ritual were four Nigerian Catholics, three Eritrean Coptic women, three Muslims from Mali, Pakistan and Syria and a Hindu Indian, as well as an Italian worker from the centre.
Speaking about the gesture, the pontiff said “We are all brothers and we want to live in peace”.
Photo Credit: AP | Reuters