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Pope Francis prays for victims of crime and conflict in sombre address

By Ian Johnston

Published 06/04/2015

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday
Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican yesterday

The Pope has condemned arms dealers in a sombre Easter address, saying they "make their money from the blood of men and women".

In his Urbi et Orbi message delivered from the balcony of St Peter's Square, Pope Francis also asked Jesus 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 - and there are many".

"May constant prayer rise up from all people of goodwill for those who lost their lives," he said. "I think in particular of the young people who were killed last Thursday at Garissa University College in Kenya."

He called for an end to the "barbarous acts of violence" in Libya and prayed for peace in the Middle East and parts of Africa, where Boko Haram Islamist militants have targeted Christians.

"We ask for peace and freedom for the many men and women subject to old and new forms of enslavement on the part of criminal individuals and groups," he said.

"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. And we ask peace for this world subjected to arms dealers, who make their money from the blood of men and women."

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