POPE  FRANCIS CALLS FOR URGENT HELP FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE WORLDWIDE AND PRAYS FOR PEACE IN CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

He expressed particular sorrow for children ‘deprived of the joy of childhood because of the selfishness of adults’ Pope Francis prayed for peace in war-torn Syria, Libya, Iraq and countries in Africa in his Christmas Message this morning.

Speaking to crowds in St Peter’s Square in Rome on a bright, sunny day the Pope recalled regions in the world where peace was absent this Christmas.

He prayed for Syria, “Where too much blood has been spilled”, and particularly for peace in Aleppo.

Particularly he prayed for the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

He prayed for men and women in eastern Ukraine, for a “New path of dialogue and reconciliation” in Colombia and for Venezuela, as well as for efforts to promote peaceful coexistence in Myanmar.

Speaking days after a terrorist attack in Berlin killed 12 people, the Pope prayed for victims of violence at the hands of those “Who have sown fear into the hearts of so many.” He also prayed for peace for people who suffer from hunger, and for exiles, migrants and refugees as well as people who are victims of human trafficking.

“Peace to those who suffer because of the sheer greed and idolatry of money,” he said, and closed by praying for children who are victims of war, and who “Do not enjoy the joy of childhood because of the selfishness of adults.” Afterwards he imparted the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing to those assembled in St Peter’s Square below, and all who listened to the blessing over the radio, on television and online.

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