BREAKING NEWS
euronews_icons_loading
Pope Francis arrives in Thailand at start of Asia trip

Pope Francis arrived in Thailand on Wednesday (November 20) to meet with the country's small but devoted Catholic minority on a seven-day Asian trip that will include a family reunion in Bangkok and take his anti-nuclear message to Japan.

The pope's plane touched down outside Bangkok around midday for a visit that coincides with the 350th anniversary of the first papal mission in Siam, the former name of Thailand.

Catholics are a tiny minority in mostly Buddhist Thailand, accounting for less than 2% of the population.

Waiting for a glimpse of the pontiff, excited Catholics thronged around the Vatican's Bangkok embassy and St. Louis Hospital to take selfies.

"I'm so happy when he waved his hand, I was so delightful. This is the greatest moment of being Christian," said 54-year-old devotee, Nathita Laomanotham who has been waiting for pope motorcade since morning.

The pope's plane touched down outside Bangkok around midday and he descended to a red-carpet airport welcome from church leaders for a visit that coincides with the 350th anniversary of the first papal mission in Siam, the former name of Thailand.