Vilnius, Lithuania, Sep 23, 2018 / 10:45 am
Pope Francis prayed that Lithuania become an example of defense of human rights in a gathering Sunday with former 20th-century freedom fighters, political prisoners, exiles and their families.
"May Lithuania become a beacon of hope," the pope prayed. "May it become a land of memory and action, constantly committed to fighting all forms of injustice. May it promote creative efforts to defend the rights of all persons, especially the most defenseless and vulnerable."
"And may Lithuania be for all a teacher in the way to reconcile and harmonize diversity."
Sunday's gathering took place at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fighters, a former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, where Soviets detained and executed hundreds of people. The event mourned victims of Nazi and Soviet oppression in Lithuania and honored those who fought for human rights.