Pope Francis’ Christmas message drew attention to those suffering from the effects of the Syrian War, instability due to the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, and other world conflicts.
The Pope’s annual Christmas Day blessing, “Urbi et Orbi,” a latin phrase meaning “to the city (Rome) and to the world,” drew tens of thousands to St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
Pope Francis stressed hope for Christians and other ethnic and religious groups suffering “brutal persecution” in Iraq and Syria, reports CNN.
"May Christmas bring them hope, as indeed also to the many displaced persons, exiles and refugees, children, adults and elderly, from this region and from the whole world," Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis also called for compassion towards refugees “so that all who now are suffering may receive the necessary humanitarian help to overcome the rigors of winter,” reports BBC News.
Pope Francis wished for peace in Nigeria, reconciliation in the Ukraine, and help to those fighting the Ebola crisis.
In reference to Nigeria, Pope Francis said, “Too many people are being held hostage or massacred.”
"May Christ the Savior give peace to Nigeria, where more blood is being shed and too many people are unjustly deprived of their possessions, held as hostages or killed," Pope Francis said.
In an appeal on behalf of world youth, Pope Francis said, “May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers.”
A somber statement was made by Pope Francis as to the current state of the world on this Christmas Day.
"Truly there are so many tears this Christmas," Pope Francis said.