The small Greek island of Lesbos is preparing for a visit by Pope Francis aimed at supporting refugees and drawing attention to the front line of Europe's migrant crisis. Mana Rabiee reports.
The Moria holding center on the Greek island of Lesbos. where Pope Francis will greet hundreds of the more than 3,000 refugees at this one camp who are seeking asylum in Europe . The pope says he wants to raise awareness about their plight. A move welcomed by aid workers, including the local U.N. refugee spokesman Boris Cheshirkov. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR) SPOKESMAN ON LESBOS, BORIS CHESHIRKOV, SAYING: "At a time when we are seeing xenophobia on the rise, at a time when we are seeing refugees becoming marginalized and becoming scapegoats, it's extremely important that someone of his standing is able to express concern and able to rally support." Lesbos is one of the epicenters of Europe's migrant crisis. Over the past year, hundreds of thousands have made this their point of entry into Europe by sea via Turkey. But for months, scores have become stranded here and across Europe as countries closed off their borders...and many are at risk of being sent back. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GIRL FROM DAMASCUS, SYRIA, AYAT, AGED 16, SAYING: "We hope that he can help us and all of us are sure he can do a thing for us, for the refugees. Even if they were Muslims or Christians it doesn't matter because all of us at the end, we are human." And that's a reality the pope says he's determined to highlight during his visit..seeking compassion for thousands caught in a crisis.