NEWS

Religious leaders meet group of unaccompanied minors at Moria detention camp

TAGS: Migration, Religion, Diplomacy

A group of unaccompanied minors has greeted Pope Francis and the leaders of the world's Orthodox Christians and the Church of Greece as they arrived at the Moria migrant detention center on the Greek island of Lesvos.

The teenage boys who have made the perilous journeys from their homelands to Greece alone were lined up at the entrance, shaking the religious leaders' hands. Some of them were holding a Syrian flag.

The three leaders then moved on to greet women and young children who stood behind a low metal barrier. The pope, patriarch and archbishop shook their hands and patted some of the children on the cheek, while some of the gathered refugees snapped pictures of the pontiff on mobile phones.

The religious leaders' visit to the island, which has seen the majority of the arrivals of migrants heading into Europe, is a highly symbolic one. It comes shortly after the European Union began deporting new arrivals back to Turkey under a controversial deal meant to stem the refugee flow. [AP]

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