Pope Francis gives his traditional Christmas "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2014 at the Vatican. PHOTO
Pope Francis issued a strident call in his Christmas day message to safeguard children who are victims "under our very eyes" of violence and trafficking, while also demanding an end to "brutal persecution" worldwide.
Killings and hostage-takings from the Middle East to Nigeria and elsewhere must stop, he said in his annual Christmas "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) message.
Denouncing conflicts in Ukraine and Libya, and noting last week's deadly attack against a school in Pakistan, the pontiff also lamented the thousands of victims of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
"Truly there are so many tears this Christmas," he said.Source AFP