Pope Francis denounces ‘inhumane detention camps’ for migrants in Christmas message

Pope Francis called for hope and light around the world in his annual Christmas message Wednesday, including denouncing the “walls of indifference” and “inhumane detention camps” that greet migrants around the world.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear the pope’s address, during which he also said that “the light of Christ is greater” than darkness “in human hearts,” The Associated Press reported.

The “Urbi et Orbi,” which translates to, “to the city and to the world,” is a now traditional moment for popes to address suffering around the world and call for change, according to the AP.

Pope Francis discussed migrants who are forced “to emigrate in the hope of a secure life” and their difficult journeys, referring to the dangers they face along the way and “inhumane detention camps″ around the world.

As migrants reach “places where they might have hoped for a dignified life,” the pope said, they “instead find themselves before walls of indifference.”

The pope also specifically addressed the Syrian people “who still see no end to the hostilities that have rent [sic] their country over the last decade.” He also said Israel is where Jesus “was born as the savior of mankind and where so many people ― struggling but not discouraged ― still await a time of peace, security and prosperity.'”

In addition, the pope called for peace in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen and said many countries in the Americas “are experiencing a time of social and political upheaval,’’ specifically referencing to “the beloved Venezuelan people, long tried by their political and social tensions.”

The pope also offered prayers for several African nations, including the people of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria who have been “persecuted for their religious faith,” in addition to people in Congo “torn by continuing conflicts.”

Pope Francis also released a separate message signed by the leader of the Anglican church, Archbishop Justin Welby, and the Rev. John Chalmers, ex-moderator of the Church of Scotland, calling for warring leaders in South Sudan to vow to form a coalition government in the coming year.

A peace deal was signed last year ending a 5-year war that killed nearly 400,000 people, but the country has yet to form a unified government after passing its November deadline, the AP reported.

The pope shared on Twitter, “May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering members of our human family.May He soften our often stony and self-centred hearts,and make them channels of His love. On this joyful day,may He bring His tenderness to all and brighten the darkness of this world.” 

Tags Christmas Pope Francis

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