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Pope washes the feet of 4 Nigerian Catholics

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”.

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