Pope Wishes for “a Better World” in Christmas Message

Pope Francis appealed in his first Christmas Day speech for an end to international conflicts. Speaking to an estimated crowd of 150,000 at the Vatican on Wednesday, Francis called for halting the "hatred and vengeance" in Syria and pleaded to "heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq," NBC News reported. He also called for "a favorable outcome in peace talks between Israel and Palestine," and highlighted conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and violence in Nigeria. He said the message of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem was directed at "every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty."

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