Pope Francis has issued a video message criticising the lack of support for the poor and refugees on Thursday (2 February 2016). The video portrays passersby too involved with themselves to notice a person shivering with cold in an apparent 'mannequin challenge' – an internet craze that became popular in November last year, which involves a group of people holding a pose as if frozen in time.
While the video plays, the pope's voice invites believers to spring into action to help the less-fortunate in what appears to be a criticism of income inequality.
He said: "We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centres and strike big real-estate deals, but abandon a part of themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery. The result of this situation is that great sections of the populations are excluded and marginalised: without a job, without a way out. Don't abandon them."
"Pray with me for all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees and marginalised, may find welcome and comfort in our communities."
The plight of the refugees had already come to the Pope's attention in November, when he dedicated his monthly prayer to the countries who welcome refugees, inviting them to "move away from indifference and the fear of accepting the other, because that other could be you, or me".In his prayer, the pope hoped the countries accepting refugees may find support for their solidarity.
The pontiff visited the Moira refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in April to bear witness to the "worst humanitarian disaster since the second world war", the term he used to refer to the migrant crisis. The Pope returned from the trip bringing 12 Syrian Muslim refugees along with him, whom he intended would be looked after in the Vatican.