Pope Francis' Easter Message Centered Around Peace

Hannah Rogers
April 3, 2018

The head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics asked that "provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed by our brothers and sisters, while also ensuring fitting conditions for the return of the displaced" to Syria.

He said: "It bears fruits of hope and dignity where there are deprivation and exclusion, hunger and unemployment; where there are migrants and refugees, so often rejected by today's culture of waste, and victims of the drug trade, human trafficking and contemporary forms of slavery".

Francis opened Easter festivities with a tweet to his global flock: "Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive!"

"This experience is at the heart of the Christian message".

He hoped the "fruits of dialogue" would advance peace and harmony on the Korean peninsula, where the two sides are set to hold their first summit in more than a decade on April 27, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation.

"Beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria", Pope Francis said.

'This Easter, may the light of the risen Christ illumine the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course, ' he said.

In his Easter appeal for peace throughout the world, Pope Francis made special mention of the ongoing "carnage" in Syria and the recent violence along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, violence the pope said had not spared "the defenseless".

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Palestinian protesters in Gaza demonstrated along the border fence last week, which led to clashes with Israeli police and several protestors being killed.

In addition, the Pope offered a prayer for the Venezuelan people, wishing they could "find a just, peaceful and humane way to surmount quickly the political and humanitarian crises that grip it".

Security precautions included bag checks and metal detector wands for everyone entering the square, while the main avenue leading to the Vatican, as well as smaller adjoining streets, were closed to traffic.

The listeners were urged to work to end the "so many acts of injustice", two days after the pope said in another address that he was "ashamed" of the state of the world.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of worshippers filed into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

The Eastern Orthodox church celebrates Easter next Sunday, April 8.

Earlier in the day he had celebrated Mass in the flower-bedecked square.

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