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Pope condemns religious persecution in Christmas address

Pope Francis on Thursday roundly condemned jihadist violence and the “brutal persecution” of religious minorities in a Christmas message to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and millions of others. His second traditional “urbi et orbi” message (to the city and to the world) comes at the close of a year plagued by war and violent religious fundamentalism, notably in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and most recently against schoolchildren in Pakistan. “Truly there are so many tears this Christmas,” he said in the message broadcast across the world.

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