Pope praises nations taking in refugees in Christmas prayer
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The pontiff said that such generosity helped refugees “build a dignified future for themselves and for their dear ones, and to be integrated in the societies which receive them,” according to the Associated Press.
Francis also denounced “monstrous evil” as he called for peace in Syria and Libya.
"We pray to the Lord that the agreement reached in the United Nations may succeed in halting as quickly as possible the clash of arms in Syria and in remedying the extremely grave humanitarian situation of its suffering people," he said.
"It is likewise urgent that the agreement on Libya be supported by all, so as to overcome the grave divisions and violence afflicting the country."
Speaking to supporters from a balcony at St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas day, the Pope made reference to November’s terrorist attack in Paris, as well as other attacks linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, calling them “brutal acts of terrorism.”
“May the attention of the international community be unanimously directed to ending the atrocities which in those countries, as well as in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and sub-Saharan Africa, even now reap numerous victims, cause immense suffering and do not even spare the historical and cultural patrimony of entire peoples,” he said.
Francis said he hoped his prayer would encourage Catholics “to welcome God's mercy in our lives, and be merciful with our brothers to make peace grow.
"Only God's mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst," he added.