Pope Francis has praised a Scottish international development charity for its 50 years of work serving and supporting the poor.
Francis asked SCIAF, the official international aid charity of the Church in Scotland, which next year  celebrates its 50th anniversary, to continue its “significant work of love”.
“We Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters; to touch it, to make it our own and take practical steps to alleviate it… Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution in the world,” he said.
The message was part of an Apostolic Blessing sent via the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini.
SCIAF’s Director Alistair Dutton said that Pope Francs was an inspiration to the charity.
“Receiving this blessing to mark our 50th anniversary year is a huge honour. It is fitting recognition for all those who been part of our mission to create a more just world for all. With their support, over the last 50 years, we’ve given millions of families a better chance in life and hope for the future. We won’t stop while they need our help,” he added.