Pope Francis condemns ISIS, Boko Haram and pushes for peace in Christmas speech

by Staff, |
Pope Francis leads prayer overlooking Saint Peter's Square October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Max Rossi

VATICAN CITY (Christian Examiner) -- Pope Francis held a Christmas mass Dec. 25 and condemned acts of violence and terrorism all around the world.

"Truly there are so many tears this Christmas," he said in a speech to thousands at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

"Today I ask him, the Saviour of the world, to look upon our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, who for too long now have suffered the effects of ongoing conflict, and who, together with those belonging to other ethnic and religious groups, are suffering a brutal persecution," he said, referring to the constant battle against ISIS.

The Pontiff also spoke on the plight of those in Nigeria, who live in constant fear after the kidnapping of over 300 women and girls by Boko Haram.

"May Christ the Saviour give peace to Nigeria, where [even in these hours] more blood is being shed and too many people are unjustly deprived of their possessions, held as hostages or killed," the Pope said.

"I think also of those infants massacred in bomb attacks, also those where the Son of God was born," he said. Pope Francis also condemned those responsible for "infants killed in the womb deprived of that generous love of their parents and then buried in the egoism of a culture that does not love life."

The Catholic leader highlighted the school shooting in Pakistan earlier this month and the victims of Ebola "in Liberia, in Sierra Leone and in Guinea" who are suffering and in need of peaceful solutions.

"Truly, there are many tears this Christmas," the Pontiff said.