Rome: Thirty-three people from Afghanistan, Togo, and Cameroon who arrived in Italy seeking asylum from the Greek island of Lesbos will be welcomed to the Vatican this Thursday. They are in Italy along with Cardinal Conrad Krajewski, head of the Papal Charities. Due to the intervention of Pope Francis, they were granted asylum in Italy. After months of negotiations between the Vatican Charities and Italy’s home ministry, families were forced to seek asylum in Italy. The affairs of the refugees will be handled by the Vatican’s Papal Charity Office for Refugees, and the Saint Egidio Community, a community focused on peace restoration and helping the poor.
Lesbos Island is a major destination for migrants from Syria and Afghanistan to Europe. In 2016, Pope Francis visited the island. On his return trip, he took three Syrian families who were refugees. Two months later, another Syrian refugee group arrived in Italy. Meanwhile, another group of ten is expected to arrive in Italy by the end of this month.