Christian Movement Asks Pope Francis to Postpone Sri Lanka Visit

Fear That Election Candidates Are Using Pontiff for Political Gain

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A Sri Lankan Christian movement is asking Pope Francis to postpone his visit in January, citing fears that the event will be exploited by the upcoming presidential elections.

According to AsiaNews, members of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) said the Pontiff’s visit will be “spoiled” by the elections which will be held on January 8th.

Tensions have flared after several candidates, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, have released campaign posters and billboards along with the image of the Holy Father. The movement stated that «election organizers will exploit the pope’s visit as a political tool.»

Some candidates have gone to such lengths as to use Photoshop editing software to include the Pope in their campaign posters. «We do not want see the pictures of the Pope used by any politician,” the Christian activists said.

CSM members addressed a letter to Vatican authorities calling for the postponement, as well as praising him for “his love for the poor and marginalized.”

“We appreciate his efforts to bring about changes in the Church,” they wrote.

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