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Pope criticizes ‘rejection’ of migrants in Easter message

VATICAN CITY: This handout picture released by the Vatican press office shows Pope Francis addressing the crowd from the central loggia of St Peters’ basilica during the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing for Rome and the world following the Easter Sunday mass yesterday at St Peter’s square. —AFP
VATICAN CITY: This handout picture released by the Vatican press office shows Pope Francis addressing the crowd from the central loggia of St Peters’ basilica during the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing for Rome and the world following the Easter Sunday mass yesterday at St Peter’s square. —AFP

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis yesterday spoke out against the “rejection” of migrants and refugees during his Easter message as Europe struggles with its biggest migration crisis since World War II. “The Easter message of the risen Christ… invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees… fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.

“All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance.” The pontiff referred to Syria’s “lengthy conflict, with its sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law”, stressing his hope for peace talks set to resume next month between the government and opposition forces. “Good will and the cooperation of all will bear fruit in peace and initiate the building of a fraternal society,” he said to the crowds gathered below the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica. —AFP

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