Pope Francis met with three Afghan refugee families at the Vatican yesterday, including a Catholic family of four children and a man whose parents were killed by the Taliban. Source: CNA.
In the joyful encounter, seven refugee children presented the Pope with some of their drawings and Pope Francis prayed with the Afghan families.
“It was beautiful,” Ali Ehsani said after the meeting.
Mr Ehsani, an Afghan Christian who escaped the Taliban after the murder of his parents in 1997, had appealed to the Pope to help a Catholic family that was stranded at the Kabul airport in August.
At the time, thousands of Afghans had crowded the airport seeking asylum after the capital of Afghanistan fell to the Taliban on August 15.
The father of the Catholic family of four children had gone missing and the family feared that his disappearance was linked to their Christian identity amid reports that the Taliban was going door-to-door to find targets.
“We remained closed in the cellar for four days and four nights for fear of everyone being arrested, probably someone denounced us as Christians,” Pary Gul Hasan Zada, the mother of the family, told L’Osservatore Romano.
Italy offered asylum to this mother, her three daughters and one son, and the family arrived in Rome on August 21. The mother said that she has had no news of the status of her husband since his arrest last month.
The Pope met with this Catholic family and two other families that had children between the ages of one years old and 14 before his general audience.
Pope Francis meets Afghan Christian whose parents were killed by the Taliban (By Courtney Mares, CNA)