Pope Francis used his Christmas message to urge Catholics around the world to feel compassion for those "not allowed to be born".
Speaking to tens of thousands of Catholics in Saint Peter's Square, the head of the Catholic Church asked worshippers to celebrate “the fragile simplicity of a small newborn”.
“Let us allow ourselves to be challenged by the children who are not allowed to be born, by those who cry because no one satiates their hunger, by those who do have not toys in their hands, but rather weapons,” he said, the AFP news agency reports.
During his speech to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, the Pontiff also wished wished Christmas peace for people scarred by wars and those who lost loved ones to terrorism.
He said terrorism is sowing "fear and death" in many cities and countries.
Francis cited those suffering through the Syrian war, especially during the "most awful battles" in Aleppo. He pressed the international community for a negotiated solution.
He also urged Israelis and Palestinians to abandon hate and revenge and lamented that in Nigeria "fundamentalist terrorism exploits even children," a reference to child suicide-bombers.
He went on to decry conflicts and tensions in Africa, eastern Ukraine, Myanmar, the Korean peninsula, Colombia and Venezuela.
Additional reporting by agencies
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