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HomeWorldPope Francis says world is 'hungry for peace' in traditional Christmas prayer

Pope Francis says world is ‘hungry for peace’ in traditional Christmas prayer


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Pope Francis said that the world suffers from a “grave hunger for peace” and prayed for the end of the War in Ukraine and other conflicts in the traditional Christmas message he delivered this Sunday (25), from the balcony of the Vatican, in front of dozens of thousands of faithful.

The prayer comes a day after an attack on Kherson killed at least 10 people and wounded 35 others, according to information released by the government of Volodymyr Zelensky.

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“May we see the faces of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who experience this Christmas in the dark and the cold,” Francis said. The invaded country has had frequent power and water cuts since October, when Russia began steadily bombing its civilian infrastructure.

The pontiff added that the Ukraine War should not diminish concern for people whose lives have been devastated by other conflicts and humanitarian crises around the world, citing, among others, those plaguing Iran, Syria, Myanmar, Haiti and the Sahel region, in Africa.

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He also called for a resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestine amid heightened tensions in the West Bank. At least 150 Palestinians and more than 20 Israelis have died in clashes in the region this year – the most violence in the area in a decade.

In the prayer, known as “Urbi et Orbi” —for the city and for the world—, the pope also asked his faithful to look beyond the “shallow glitter of the holiday season” and help the homeless, immigrants, refugees and the poor who seek comfort, warmth and food.

He warned that many resources today are spent on weapons, and huge amounts of food are wasted daily. He also again condemned the use of food as a weapon of war, saying the Ukraine War had threatened millions in countries like Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa with starvation.

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