Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • US rights group sues government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Pope appeals for peace in Syria during Easter message

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-08

Pope Benedict XVI appealed for global peace and reconciliation before an estimated 100,000 people during his annual Easter Sunday message in St. Peter's Square. The pontiff called for dialogue in Syria and an end to unrest in Mali and Nigeria.

AFP - Pope Benedict XVI appealed for peace and reconciliation around the world, singling out Syria, Mali and Nigeria in his Easter Sunday message before 100,000 faithful in Saint Peter's square.

He also condemned discrimination and persecution of Christians in general, saying: "Christ is hope and comfort in a particular way for those Christian communities suffering most for their faith."

On Syria, he urged an end to the bloodshed and commitment to dialogue to end almost 13 months of deadly violence there, as part of a wider appeal to give hope to the entire Middle East.

"May the risen Christ grant hope to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic, cultural and religious groups in that region to work together to advance the common good and respect for human rights," he said in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message.

"Particularly in Syria, may there be an end to bloodshed and an immediate commitment to the path of respect, dialogue and reconciliation, as called for by the international community," he said.

The pontiff also voiced hope that refugees fleeing the crisis in Syria who are in need of humanitarian assistance are given help to relieve "their dreadful sufferings".

His comments came ahead of a UN deadline next week for the regime to withdraw its troops from rebel cities, although Damascus insisted Sunday it would not do so without written guarantees, and after a brutal surge in violence with nearly 130 people killed on Saturday alone.

Turning to Iraq, he encouraged the people to "spare no effort in pursuing the path of stability and development".

He added: "In the Holy Land, may Israelis and Palestinians courageously take up anew the peace process," with direct talks between the two sides frozen since September 2010

In a general appeal for the Christian communities of the African continent, he called on God to "grant them hope in facing their difficulties and make them peacemakers and agents of development in the societies to which they belong."

He called for peace and stability to return to Mali after the coup there, and condemned the "savage terrorist attacks" on Christian churches in Nigeria.

"In Mali, now experiencing delicate political developments, may the glorious Christ grant peace and stability.

"To Nigeria, which in recent times has experienced savage terrorist attacks, may the joy of Easter grant the strength needed to take up anew the building of a society which is peaceful and respectful of the religious freedom of its citizens," he added.

But as he spoke, a car bomb blast outside a church in northern Nigeria left at least 20 people dead and scores wounded, according to rescuers, a stark reminder of Christmas Day attacks that left dozens dead.

Referring to other conflicts on the continent, he said: "May the risen Jesus comfort the suffering populations of the Horn of Africa and favour their reconciliation; may he help the Great Lakes Region, Sudan and South Sudan, and grant their inhabitants the power of forgiveness."

jlv/ss/txw

DATELINE:VATICAN CITY, April 8, 2012 (AFP) -

Date created : 2012-04-08

  • CUBA

    Pope Benedict XVI wraps up Cuba visit

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    Pope calls for end to Syria unrest in Christmas sermon

    Read more

COMMENT(S)