Jun 04, 2020 07:42 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Jul 09, 2020 15:06 Asia/Tehran]

While decrying racism, Pope Francis has urged peaceful protests in the United States.

Iran PressEurope: Speaking at the General Audience about the protests in the United States following the Killing of George Floyd, Pope Francis said: "We cannot claim to defend the sacredness of every human life while turning a blind eye to racism and exclusion."

According to Vatican News, in his greetings to the English-speaking faithful at the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis addressed the people of the United States, as protests continue throughout the nation.

"I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd," he said, adding: "We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life."

Pope Francis added that today he joins the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and throughout the entire US, 'in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism'.

An African-American man, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer while being arrested.

Floyd's neck and chest were pressed to the ground by a policeman for nearly nine minutes, despite the victim's pleas to be allowed to breathe.

Floyd's death has led to widespread outrage, protests, and unrest across the nation. The Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin, was charged last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 207

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