Pope Francis appeals for Global peace in Easter message
Pope Francis celebrated his first Easter Sunday Mass praying for world peace and urging a diplomatic solution to the standoff on the Korean peninsula. Only two weeks after his election, the first pope from the developing world continues to make his mark on the Catholic Church. St. Peter's Square was bedecked with flowers and packed with joyous pilgrims and tourists as Pope Francis celebrated Easter Mass. The Pope appearing before more than 250,000 people for his first Easter Sunday address at St. Peter's Square.
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Delivering his speech, he delivered his first Easter message, making a call for peace in the Middle East. Syria, in particular, was a key theme as the pontiff gave his "Urbi et Orbi" blessing in front of thousands. He made an appeal for peace in the Middle East. He spoke about conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which he said had been going on for all too long, as well as in Iraq where he prayed that "every act of violence may end."
However, the pope placed particular emphasis on his appeal for peace in Syria, where a civil war has entered its third year. "Above all, for dear Syria," he said. "For its people, torn by conflict; for the many refugees who need help and comfort. How much blood has been shed and how much suffering must there be before a political solution is found?" He drew attention to other trouble spots around the world, such as Mali, Nigeria and the Central African Republic in Africa. In Asia, the pope placed special emphasis on the Korean peninsula.
He ended by addressing global issues, in particular the "extensive and widespread" problem of human trafficking, the drugs trade and the "iniquitous exploitation of natural resources."