When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century.
“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said, according to the German translation of the interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” he added with a laugh, the daily reported. “Germany is Germany.”
“There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.”
When four refugees were attacked near a tram stop in a town on the German-Polish border on Monday evening, pedestrians egged on their assailants.
The asylum seekers from Syria, Somalia and Egypt were waiting at a tram stop in Frankfurt an der Oder, a Brandenburg town an hour east of Berlin, when a group of men approached them.
The men started insulting the asylum seekers, police report, and then one man punched the youngest of them, a 17-year-old refugee from Syria, directly in the face.
The asylum seekers fled, with two of them making for a nearby shopping centre. But they were chased down by three men who caught them and started beating them.
As the men continued to insult and abuse them, other members of the public joined in, hurling racist abuse at them.
Peshtiwan Nasser Abdal has been holed up in a church for the past four months, in a desperate bid to avoid deportation from Germany.
The 21-year-old Yazidi Iraqi, like 400 other people, is being offered sanctuary by a German church under a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.
The practice of religious asylum had been largely forgotten until last year when a massive influx of migrants led some churches to offer safe haven to vulnerable asylum seekers.
Although the church is not above the law in Germany, few expect police officers to storm in to drag away asylum seekers, particularly in the conservative and largely religious southern state of Bavaria where Abdal has found sanctuary.
Newly-erected Holocaust monuments in Poland and Italy were vandalized by individuals who wrote on them far-right and far-left slogans, respectively.
The Polish monument, which was unveiled in 2014 in the country’s northeast, was hit for the second time in a little over a year by unidentified culprits who broke off part of its surface and spray-painted expletives and a neo-Nazi symbol on what remained. In Italy, the assailants wrote “Burn the banks” on a Holocaust monument that was erected in February.