Pope Francis has drawn sharp criticism from a Jewish organization for comparing European refugee holding centers to "concentration camps," which were used by Nazis to kill millions of Jews during World War II, the Independent (British) website reports today (April 24, 2017).
The pontiff made the comparison during a visit to Rome Basilica where he met with migrants on April 22. Recalling his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year, he talked of encountering a Muslim refugee from the Middle East who told him how "terrorists came to our country" and beheaded his wife for refusing to throw down her crucifix.
Pope Francis said: "I don't know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration [type] because of the great number of people left inside them."
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) urged the pontiff "to reconsider his regrettable choice of words." David Harris, head of the AJC, said in a statement: "The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult... but concentration camps they certainly are not."