For the Christmas message to the Catholic community, Pope Francis urged for prayer of peace in Israel and Palestine, stating an end to violence and protection of civilians. ALSO READ: Religious leaders give messages of peace, hope on Christmas During a Christmas mass, on December 25, the head of Catholic Church said that Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of the God, gave believers the “power to become children of God” (John 1:12), hence, this is the joy that consoles hearts, renews hope and bestows peace. He noted that saying “yes” to the ‘Prince of Peace’, means saying “no” to war, and to do so with courage. “The human heart is weak and impulsive; if we find instruments of death in our hands, sooner or later we will use them. And how can we even speak of peace, when arms production, sales and trade are on the rise? Today, as at the time of Herod, the evil that opposes God’s light hatches its plots in the shadows of hypocrisy and concealment. “How much violence and killing takes place amid deafening silence, unbeknownst to many! People, who desire not weapons but bread, who struggle to make ends meet and desire only peace, have no idea how many public funds are being spent on arms,” he said. The Pope added: “May it come in Israel and Palestine, where war is devastating the lives of those peoples. I embrace them all, particularly the Christian communities of Gaza, the parish of Gaza, and the entire Holy Land. My heart grieves for the victims of the abominable attack of October 7 last, and I reiterate my urgent appeal for the liberation of those still being held hostage.” He pleaded for an end to the military operations with their appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims and called for an opening to the provision of humanitarian aid. “Brothers and sisters, let us pray for peace in Palestine and in Israel.” He also sent prayers of political and social stability for people in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and the Sahel, among other countries facing conflicts. ALSO READ: Cardinal Kambanda urges ‘present’ parenting “May the Son of God, who became a lowly Child, inspire political authorities and all persons of good will in the Americas to devise suitable ways to resolve social and political conflicts, to combat forms of poverty that offend the dignity of persons, to reduce inequality and to address the troubling phenomenon of migration movements,” the Pope added.