Myanmar has geared up to welcome Holy Father Pope Francis on 27th November, afternoon, although a first glance around the cities of Yangon and the capital Naypyitaw shows few signs of any major preparations. Expectations among these Christian communities are sky-high, hope His Holiness Pope Francis can miraculously bring the civil war in the country to an end, by encouraging the military and members of the various independent armies to return to the negotiating table.

Officially there has been good cooperation with the Myanmar authorities in the planning of this trip, though everyone is on tenterhooks over the crisis in northern Rakhine state. With western media focused almost exclusively on whether or not the Pope will pronounce the word ‘Rohingya’organisers are seeking to shine the light on many other refugee problems that still plague this nation, made up of over 130 different ethnic minorities.

One or two isolated posters and billboards can be spotted around the central St. Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon and the adjacent archbishop’s house where Holy Father Pope Francis will be staying for the duration of this three-day visit.