Pope Francis Prays for End of War in Syria, South Sudan and Congo
Pope Francis has used Easter Sunday service to call for an end to the “carnage” in Syria from the Vatican.He also asked God to reign in and heal wounds in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urged dialogue on the Korean peninsula.
Pope Francis said the power of the Christian message gave hope to the deprivedThis included migrants and refugees who he said were “so often rejected by today’s culture of waste”.
Thousands of people were in St Peter’s Square to hear him speak from the balcony of the basilica.The Pope said: “Today we implore fruits of peace upon the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long suffering land of Syria whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war’’.
“This Easter may the light of the risen Christ illuminate the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course; that humanitarian law may be respected; and that provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed.”
During the first five years of his reign, Pope Francis has been consistently outspoken in condemning the Syrian conflict. In 2013, he was credited with leading moral opposition to Western military intervention.
The Pope also asked for reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenceless, for Yemen and for the entire Middle East, so that dialogue and mutual respect may prevail over division and violence.”
On relations between North and South Korea, he said he hoped talks aiming to ease longstanding tensions on the Korean peninsula would “advance harmony and peace”.
The Pope also expressed hope for an end to violence and division in Ukraine and Venezuela.