Pope evokes Myanmar nun in pleading for peace

The image of sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begging a group of police earlier this month to spare 'the children' and take her life instead, went viral as a potent symbol of bravery amid mass protests against the military coup.

This handout photo taken on March 8, 2021 and released on March 9 by the Myitkyina News Journal shows a nun pleading with police not to harm protesters in Myitkyina in Myanmar's Kachin state, amid a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup. Picture: Handout / Myitkyina News Journal / AFP.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Wednesday again called for an end to violence in Myanmar, referencing the nun who fell to her knees to beg armed police for mercy.

"I, too, kneel on the streets of Myanmar and say, 'end the violence,'" the 84-year-old pontiff said during his weekly audience, although he did not directly reference the nun.

"I too extend my arms and say, 'let dialogue prevail. Blood resolves nothing.'"

The image of sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng begging a group of police earlier this month to spare "the children" and take her life instead, went viral as a potent symbol of bravery amid mass protests against the military coup.

The pope has repeatedly called for an end to violence in Myanmar since the February 1 coup, when the military ousted and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The junta has increasingly deployed heavier force to quell the demonstrations, with more than 200 protesters reported to have been killed in the crackdown.

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