Pope Francis, the sovereign of Europe’s Vatican City and the head of the Catholic Church, arrived in Thailand on Wednesday November 20th as part of a seven-day Asian tour, Reuters reported.
The pope’s visit coincides with the 350th anniversary of the first papal mission to Thailand, which at the time was known as Siam.
During his visit to Thailand, Pope Francis is set to meet Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn and the supreme Buddhist patriarch, as well as Catholic leaders and students. The latter represent only a little more than 0.5% of the Thai population, with Buddhists the vast majority in the Asian country, according to AFP.
“I leave today on my 32nd #ApostolicJourney. Dear friends in Thailand and Japan, before we meet, let us pray together that these days may be rich in grace and joy,” read a post on the pope’s Twitter account.
"I trust that my visit will help to highlight the importance of inter-religious dialogue, mutual understanding and fraternal cooperation," the Pope said in a video.
The pope will then head to Japan, where he would take his anti-nuclear message.