The head of the Catholic Church said on Sunday (Feb. 7) that he was concerned by the recent military coup in Myanmar.
"I wish to assure my spiritual closeness, prayer and solidarity to the people of Myanmar," said Pope Francis after his recital of the Angelus prayer according to Vatican News.
He referred to the nation as one "that I carry in my heart with much affection, ever since my apostolic visit there in 2017".
Pope Francis paid his first visit to Myanmar in November 2017 and met with Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
"I pray that those who have political responsibility show sincere willingness to serve the common good", he said.
AFP reported that the Pope also urged Myanmar's military to work towards "democratic coexistence".
Thousands take to the streets of Myanmar
The Pope's prayer comes as citizens of Myanmar took to the streets over the weekend to protest the military coup.
Saturday's protests were the largest the country had seen since 2007; and some estimated that 100,000 protestors marched in Yangon according to AFP.
This was despite the military's attempt to stymie demonstrations by ordering an internet blackout.
According to CNA, internet access was partially restored to the country on the afternoon of Feb. 7.
Top image by Ye Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images and Jeon Han/Republic of Korea via Flickr
Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here