Pope Francis delivers message of peace during first Christmas as - New York News

Pope Francis delivers message of peace during first Christmas as Pontiff

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Pope Francis delivered a message for peace around the world as he addressed pilgrims with his first Christmas as Pontiff.

The Pope wished for violence to come to an end in war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq, and the West Bank.

"True peace is not a balance of opposing forces," he said. "Peace calls for daily commitment, starting from god's gift."

As blessings pour in from Vatican City, some countries mentioned by Pope Francis started Christmas with violence.

Several attacks on Christians by insurgents left nearly 40 people dead in Baghdad.

But masses continued and a message of peace was delivered.

Father Seroub said “I wish peace and security to all Iraqi people at the beginning of the new year."

In Afghanistan, the US embassy in Kabul was hit by indirect mortar fire, but no one was hurt.

Troops stationed there enjoyed a Christmas meal while away and missing their families.

Syrian refugees who escaped into Jordan were able to celebrate the birth of Jesus by attending mass in Amman.

Christians flocked to a church built over what is historically thought to be Jesus' birthplace in Bethlehem...

Bethlehem's 'Church of the Nativity' saw diminished numbers during a Palestinian uprising in 2000.

However, visitor numbers were especially high this year due to progress with Mideast peace talks.

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