Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday
hailed the "courageous" Japanese people and called for prayers
for the victims after the country was devastated by a huge
earthquake and tsunami.
"I ask you to join me in praying for the victims of
the recent devastation visited upon Japan," the pope said
after the weekly Angelus prayer.
"May the bereaved and injured be comforted and may the
rescue workers be strengthened in their efforts to assist the
courageous Japanese people," the pope said.
Japan is predominantly Shintoist and Buddhist, with
only 1.5 per cent of the total population, or less than two
million people, Christian. Less than half a million are