Pope goes to restive area in Chile where churches are burned


Pope Francis is looking to put Chile’s sex abuse scandal behind him Wednesday by diving into another divisive issue roiling the South American nation: the plight of the indigenous Mapuche and their long-running conflicts with government authorities.

In an ominous reminder of how the centuries-long conflict has occasionally erupted in violence, two Catholic churches were torched in the Araucania region on the eve of Francis’ arrival — one burned to the ground.

The Argentine pope is particularly attuned to indigenous issues and hopes to use his visit to put the issue on the global agenda and set the stage for a big church meeting next year on the Amazon and native peoples who live there.



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