04:24 GMT +316 July 2018
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    Pope Francis delivers his Easter message in the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) address from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican

    Pope Francis Calls for Peace, End to 'Carnage' in Syria in Easter Message

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    The pope declared his appeal in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) speech from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican to tens of thousands of people.

    Pope Francis has called for peace in "the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria, whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war," and mentioned Israel, where 15 Palestinians were shot on the Israeli-Gaza border two days before Easter Sunday.

    "This Easter, may the light of the risen Christ illumine the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in a course… " he said.

    The pontiff stated that the message of the resurrection offers hope in a world "marked by so many acts of injustice and violence," including areas of Africa plagued by "hunger, endemic conflicts, and terrorism."

    "It bears the fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment; where there are migrants and refugees, so often rejected by today's culture of waste, and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery," the pope said.

    READ MORE: Pope Francis Baptizes Nigerian Migrant Hero at Easter Vigil Service in Italy

    Pope Francis asked for a "swift end" to the seven years of carnage in Syria, requesting that aid be transferred to the war-torn country's people in need and calling for "fitting conditions for the returned and the displaced."

    The pope has also requested reconciliation in Israel, a place "experiencing in these days the wounds of the ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless," and called for peace in divided Ukraine, the Korean peninsula, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, appealing for the world not to forget the victims of conflicts, especially children.

    "May there be no lack of solidarity with all those forced to leave their native lands and lacking the bare essentials for living," said Francis, who has often defended migrants and refugees.

    Francis, who is celebrating his sixth Easter as the head of the Roman Catholic Church since his election in 2013, asked his listeners to work to end the "so many acts of injustice" in the world.

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    peace appeal, message, speech, Easter, Pope Francis, Vatican City, Italy, Israel, Syria, Ukraine, Africa
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