On Christmas Day, Pope Francis Offered A Prayer Of Peace For These Global Conflicts

"We see Jesus in the children worldwide wherever peace and security are threatened by the danger of tensions and new conflicts."

Speaking from Vatican City on Christmas day, Pope Francis offered prayers and hope that there would be a peaceful resolution to some of the world's greatest conflicts.

Pope Francis began his Urbi et Orbi, a benediction to the city and the world, by warning that "the winds of war are blowing." He urged listeners to find Jesus in the faces of the children stuck in some of the world's ugliest conflicts, beginning with the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. 

"We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians," Pope Francis said. "On this festive day, let us ask the Lord for peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land.  Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two States within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders."

He prayed that in Syria, the people would once again find a respect for each other beyond religious or ethnic affiliation. But he extended those thoughts to other middle east countries, too.

"We see Jesus in the children of Iraq, wounded and torn by the conflicts that country has experienced in the last fifteen years, and in the children of Yemen, where there is an ongoing conflict that has been largely forgotten, with serious humanitarian implications for its people, who suffer from hunger and the spread of diseases," he said.

Pope Francis's comments touched on South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Nigeria as well. He prayed that conflict would be overcome in the Korean peninsula and in the Ukraine. In Venezuela, he prayed that the country "may resume a serene dialogue among the various elements of society for the benefit of all the beloved Venezuelan people." 

It's not the first time Pope Francis has stepped into the political world or commented on conflict across the globe. He's shared his concerns about North Korea, and criticized the Trump administration's decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and commented on the treatment of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

"We see Jesus in the children worldwide wherever peace and security are threatened by the danger of tensions and new conflicts," Pope Francis said. "May our hearts not be closed as they were in the homes of Bethlehem."

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Boris Stroujko

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