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In Christmas message, pope speaks out on conflicts, migrants

Pope Francis gives his annual Christmas message at the St. Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2015Pope Francis offered a Christmas message Friday of mitigated hope for an end to the world’s conflicts, backing recent accords on Syria and Libya and praising those who shelter migrants. Delivering his Christmas message from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, the 79-year-old pontiff touched on several other conflict zones, including Iraq, Yemen, the DR Congo, Burundi and South Sudan following a year of violence and suffering that forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. After a year that saw more than one million migrants reach Europe, Francis praised those who shelter them, asking God to “repay all those, both individuals and states, who generously work to provide assistance and welcome” to them.

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