25 December 2015
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Let mercy bring peace to war-torn parts of the world, Pope says in Christmas message
Pope Francis has called for peace in the middle east and sub-saharan Africa saying that God’s mercy can bring about a solution to the most intractable of conflicts.
Delivering his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city [of Rome] and to the world) the Pope said he hoped recent international agreements in both Syria and Libya would see an end to violence in those countries while calling on Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct dialogue with each other.
“Where God is born, peace is born,” the Pope said this morning on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica.
Francis called for reconciliation and understanding in conflict ridden countries such as South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and the Ukraine. Turning to Latin America, the Pope said he hoped efforts for peace would continue in Colombia where the Pope has played a part in bringing about an agreement between the Government and the Farc rebels.
On Christmas day, the Pope said, his thoughts turned to those who had suffered from brutal acts of terrorism including in Egypt, Beirut, Paris, Bamako and Tunis and he cited those who are persecuted because of their faith describing them as “our martyrs of today.”
Elsewhere in his message Francis hoped those states that had welcomed in refugees fleeing war and poverty would be rewarded with “abundant blessings”; that those without employment would be given hope and called for closeness to child soldiers and victims of human trafficking.
Pointing out this was a Christmas taking place within the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Pope concluded with an appeal for people to be merciful with one another.
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