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.

Pope Francis warned the faithful to guard against consumerism and hedonism as he welcomed in Christmas with the celebration of Midnight Mass on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord at St Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve.

Earlier, the Pope used social media to send a more joyful message to the world with the tweet: "God is in love with us. He becomes small to help us love him in return".

Pope Francis endorsed a recent UN resolution on peace in Syria and expressed "deep appreciation" to the international community for reaching an agreement, which was passed by a unanimous vote of the UN’s Security Council on 18 December and calls for a ceasefire, talks between the Syrian government and opposition, and a two-year window in which to create a unity government and hold elections

Senior British politicians have put pressure on David Cameron to with a letter urging that the UK recognise the persecution of Christians in the Middle East as 'genocide'. 66 UK MPs and members of the House of Lords have written urging that the Government to use all its influence at the UN to obtain an agreement that the word 'genocide' should be used to describe the atrocities being committed in Iraq and Syria


A shortage of prison chaplains across England and Wales means that many prisoners will not be able to attend Mass on Christmas Day. South Wales is particularly hard hit, with no Christmas Day Mass at two prisons and the Archbishop of Cardiff having to celebrate Mass at the city’s three prisons over Christmas

The Archbishop of Calcutta confirms that the curing of a Brazilian man suffering from multiple brain tumours in 2008 can be attributed to the miraculous intercession of Mother Teresa. The founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity who died in 1997 is likely to be canonised on 4 September as part of the Pope’s Jubilee Year of Mercy

The Prince of Wales warned today that the future of Christianity is in jeopardy in the Middle East. Speaking to refugees from the region and to clerics from Middle Eastern churches, he warned: “There is a very real crisis that threatens the very existence of Christianity in its place of origin. This affects us all.

Lithuania has become the first EU country to legally call the persecution of Christians in the Middle East by Isis and other Muslim organisations genocide. The Baltic state’s parliament passed a resolution calling on the UN and the European Parliament to recognise the plight of Christians in the Middle East as an act of genocide and to act in accordance with the UN Human Rights Convention

United Nations secretary ­general Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged the contribution of faiths to last weekend’s accord between 195 countries to stem carbon emissions and set the world on a more sustainable ­environmental path.

DOORS OF Mercy have been opened around China. In the Diocese of Beijing, the Holy Door was opened on 12 December at the Cathedral

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