Pope Francis called to pray for countries suffering from war, including the “martyred Ukrainian people,” following the Angelus prayer in the Vatican on the last day of the year.
The Pope has largely refused to take sides in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, calling for an end to the fighting but placing the blame for Russia’s war on “multiple empires.”
"Let us not cease to pray for the peoples who suffer from wars: for the martyred Ukrainian people, for the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, for the people of Sudan and for many others," he said on Dec. 31.
During the prayer, he mentioned Nigeria, where the Christmas holidays were marked by violence, as well as the Rohingya people from Myanmar, the victims of ethnic cleansing who were forced into neighboring Bangladesh in 2017.
"At the end of the year, let us dare to ask: how many lives have been lost in armed conflicts? How many deaths? And how much destruction, how much suffering, how much poverty?"
"Those who have an interest in these conflicts, listen to the voice of conscience. And let us not forget the long-suffering Rohingya!"