World is starving for peace, Pope Francis says in Christmas message

VATICAN CITY, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Pope Francis called for an end to the war in Ukraine and other conflicts in his Christmas address on Sunday, saying the world was suffering from a “famine for peace”.

Delivering his papal blessing and message on the 10th anniversary of Christmas “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world), he urged people to look beyond the “shallow festive sparkle” and help the homeless, immigrants, refugees and the poor. Between looking for comfort, warmth and food.

“Let us see the faces of children everywhere who yearn for peace,” he said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. On March 13, 2013.

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“Let’s see the faces of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who are spending this Christmas in the dark and in the cold, far from their homes as a result of the ten-month-long war,” he said, addressing tens of thousands of people. in the lower area.

He spoke hours after air raid sirens wailed across Ukraine and a day after Kyiv said a Russian airstrike on the recently liberated city of Kherson on Saturday killed at least five people and wounded 35 others. .

“May the Lord inspire us to show concrete gestures of solidarity to help all those who are suffering, and enlighten the minds of those who have the power to silence the roar of that weapon and put an immediate end to this senseless war!” Francis said.

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The conflict in Ukraine, he said, should not diminish the concern of people whose lives have been destroyed in Syria, Myanmar, Iran, Haiti and other conflicts or humanitarian crises in Africa’s Sahel region.

“Our time is experiencing a severe hunger for peace…” he said.

Francis called for a resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land, the birthplace of Jesus.

This year has seen the worst violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in more than a decade, killing at least 150 Palestinians and more than 20 Israelis.

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With so many people sitting around a “well-spread table,” vast amounts of food are wasted every day and resources are wasted on weapons, he said.

He once again condemned the use of food as a weapon of war, saying that the war in Ukraine has put millions of people at risk of starvation, and mentioned Afghanistan and countries in the Horn of Africa.

Report by Philip Pullella; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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