Francis will visit the Buddhist-majority country later this month

Pope Francis has said he wants to strengthen Catholics in their commitment to faith and charity and to encourage all efforts “to build harmony and cooperation” among people of all religions during his visit to Burma this month.

The Pope’s video message to the people of Burma was posted on the official Facebook page for the visit and was released by the Vatican a day later.

“We are living at a time when religious believers and people of goodwill everywhere sense the need to grow in mutual understanding and respect and to support each other as members of our one human family,” he said, “for all of us are God’s children.”

About 90 per cent of Myanmar’s 54 million people are Buddhist. Christians and Muslims each account for about four per cent of the population and about one per cent is Hindu.

“I ask everyone to pray that my days among you will be a source of hope and encouragement to everyone,” he said. “See you soon!”