Pope seeks prayers power to fight fires

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 26 Aug 2019

Pope Francis yesterday voiced concern for the Amazon forest, a "vital" lung for the planet, as the worst blazes cause a global outcry.

"We are concerned about the vast fires that have developed in the Amazon," the pope said in urging the world's 1.3 billion Catholics to pray the blazes will be extinguished quickly. "That forest lung is vital for our planet."

Close to 78,400 fires have been recorded in Brazil this year.

The Argentinian pope, who will gather bishops for a conference on the Amazon in October, met Brazilian indigenous leader Raoni in 2013 when he toured Europe warning of the dangers of deforestation.

Then he denounced the exploitation of the Amazon by "huge international economic interests" in 2015.

And in January 2018 Francis visited a village in the Amazonian jungle of Peru where thousands of tribespeople gathered, including from Brazil and Bolivia.

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