Pope Francis Delivered a Powerful Christmas Message the World Needs to Hear

Ukraine. Syria. Mexico. The Islamic State. With a year defined by civil wars, bloody insurgencies and horrific acts of brutality drawing swiftly to a close, it's hard to imagine that 2015 will yield anything more than 12 more months of humanity at its worst.

The pontiff described the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as well as going conflicts in Libya, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan that most of the Western world has forgotten. He expressed anguish for child victims of violence, including the recent terrorist attack on a Pakistani military school, recalling the persecution of ancient Christian communities alongside those from other ethnic and religious groups while praying for those facing extermination in Iraq and Syria.

"Today I ask him, the Savior 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," Francis said. "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."

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