Pope Francis washes refugees' feet for Easter Week


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Pope Francis visited a refugee centre on Thursday to wash and kiss the feet of Muslim, Orthodox, Hindu and Catholic refugees in a gesture of welcome at a time when anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment has spiked following the Brussels and Paris attacks.

Francis celebrated the traditional Easter Week foot-washing ceremony at a refugee shelter in Castelnuovo di Porto, outside Rome, inaugurating the most solemn period of the Catholic Church's Easter season.

The Holy Thursday rite re-enacts the foot-washing ritual Jesus performed on his apostles before being crucified, and is meant as a gesture of service.

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