“In hope we entrust to the merciful Lord the framework recently agreed to in Lausanne, that it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world,” he said in his message.
He prayed for Christians killed in countries such as Kenya, where at least 148 people were slain last week in an attack by the Somali militant group al-Shabab. He called on the international community to act in the face of the “immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees.”
“From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace,” he said. “We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence.”
Francis prayed that the “roar of arms may cease” in Syria and Iraq, and for peace to come in Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Congo and Ukraine. He prayed for people “subject to old and new forms of enslavement.”
“Peace and liberty for the victims of drug dealers, who are often allied with the powers who ought to defend peace and harmony in the human family,” he said. “And we ask peace for this world subjected to arms dealers.”
He ended his message with a general Easter message of peace.
“May the marginalized, the imprisoned, the poor and the migrants who are so often rejected, maltreated and discarded, the sick and the suffering, children, especially those who are victims of violence; all who today are in mourning, and all men and women of goodwill, hear the consoling voice of the Lord Jesus: ‘Peace to you!’ (Lk 24:36). ‘Fear not, for I am risen and I shall always be with you.’ “
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