Pope calls in Christmas message for unity against militant atrocities

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Pope Francis marks Christmas Day with the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square, urging the world to unite to end atrocities by Islamist militants. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Pope calls in Christmas message for unity against militant atrocities

STORY: Pope Francis urged the world in his Christmas message on Friday (December 25) to unite to end atrocities by Islamist militants that he said were causing immense suffering in many countries.

Security was tight at the Vatican as Francis read his traditional Christmas Day “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Tens of thousands of people had to have their bags checked as they entered the Vatican area and then go through airport-style screening if they wanted to enter St. Peter’s Square.

In his Christmas message, the pope called for an end to civil wars in Syria and Libya, and called for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in the area where Jesus was born.

The pontiff also condemned recent “brutal acts of terrorism,” including the Nov. 13 attacks by Islamist militants that killed 130 people in Paris, and the downing of a Russian plane over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula that killed 224 people on Oct. 31. Both were claimed by Islamic State.

He asked God to bring consolation and strength to Christians who are being persecuted around the world and called for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, South Sudan, Ukraine and Colombia.

Francis said the human dignity of far too many people around the world was trampled on, including that of refugees and migrants.

Francis is marking the third Christmas since his election in 2013.

Tags : Atrocities, militant, against, unity, Message, christmas, calls, pope

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