Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Pope Francis prays for Nigeria on Christmas message

Pope Francis prays for Nigeria on Christmas message

Pope Francis in his first Christmas message pronounced in St. Peter's Square in Rome for tens of thousands of attendees giving the traditional blessing "Urbi et Orbi". He called for peace around the world, "for the children and the elderly, the youth and families, the poor and people on the edge of society. "

The prelate called in his Christmas message on dialogue and solidarity worldwide, and called for an end to the violence in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan."Lately there have been too many lives destroyed by the conflict in Syria, where hatred and revenge are stirred." The parties to the conflict should cease all violence and allow full access aid agencies.

He also denounced the violence against civilians in Nigeria, those displaced in Congo, and the Horn of Africa. Francis furthermore strongly condemned the use of child soldiers "who are deprived of their childhood," and pointed to the many children who die in conflict.

This year's turnout has been the largest in years in Bethlehem and the celebrations have been marked by careful optimism amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.


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