Don't extinguish migrants' hopes, Pope says on World Day of Peace

Pope prays to ‘convert hearts’ of terrorists who struck Egypt’s Christians

"For this peace, that is a right of everyone, many of them are willing to risk their lives in a journey that is in the great majority of cases long and unsafe, willing to face hardships and suffering". It is important that everyone, civil institutions, educational, welfare and ecclesial realities are committed to ensuring refugees, migrants and everyone a future of peace.

But, he said, people also must acknowledge that God gave humanity the year 2017 "whole and sound", yet "we human beings have in many ways wasted and wounded it with works of death, with lies and injustices".

Vatican City - Pope Francis on Monday used his New Year homily to urge peace and understanding for migrants and refugees.

Pope Francis has previously condemned the nuclear weapons and highlighted the plight of children in war zones.

Francis also addressed what he described as a rise of anti-immigration rhetoric globally, suggesting that people who "foment fear of migrants instead of building peace", possibly to achieve political ends, "are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia".

"Today, is it legitimate to keep nuclear arsenals as they are?"

"It is precisely these people who are dedicated to the theme of the World Day of Peace that we celebrate today: "Migrants and refugees: men and women seeking peace", this is the motto of this Day".

"We desire to and must assume fully, before God, our brothers and creation, our own responsibility".

"We need to remain silent as we gaze upon the crib", he said. "It's an invitation addressed to every one of to pray while contemplating and tasting this gift that is Jesus himself".

After the Marian prayer, the pontiff, citing in particular Italian President Sergio Mattarella, offered everyone "cordial wishes for every good thing in the new year".

Pope Francis delivers his Christmas blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 25.

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