Pope Francis focuses on conflicts in his 2024 Easter Message and pleads for conflict victims in violence and wars worldwide.

Although he began with prayers for peace in Ukraine and the Holy Land, his homily equally addressed suffering in Africa.

He asked the Lord to open paths of peace for the the Sudan, Sahel Region and the Horn of Africa. 

He also prayed for Kivu, a region in the Republic of Congo, and Capo Delgado, a province in Mozambique.”

The Kivu Region is reportedly facing a humanitarian crisis as heavy fighting between Congolese army and M23 rebels fuels displacements and tension. One out of four Congolese faces “hunger and malnutrition,” head of the UN Mission, Bintou Keita, told the Security Council last week. He warned of a rapidly deteriorating security situation and humanitarian crisis about to reach “catastrophic levels.”

Additionally, a United National Humanitarian Agency lamented how everyday has become a fight for survival in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.

The agency deplored violent attacks and killings, with bodies mutilated, women raped, and homes and businesses burned to the ground.

Speaking from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. He also asked Hamas to release the Israeli hostages they seized on 7 October 2023.

“Jesus alone opens up before us the doors of life, those doors that continually we shut with the  wars spreading throughout the world,”he said.

The Pope’s message took a vast sweep of violent upheavals in the world. He offered a word of comfort for those suffering from the violence, poverty, instability, and food insecurity.

  • For Israel and Palestine and in Ukraine, he asked Christ to open a path of peace for their “war-torn peoples.”
  • Pope Francis expressed hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine. 
  • He prayed for Syria and Lebanon as their populations continue to experience the devastating effects of war.
  • He asked the Lord to open the path of peace in Africa, specifically mentioning Sudan, the Sahel Region, Horn of Africa, as well as Kivu Region and Capo Delgado Province.
  • He prayed for divine assistance to end ”acts of violence, devastation, and bloodshed” in Haiti so that the country can return to “democracy and fraternity.”
  • He blessed ongoing discussions between Armenia and Azerbaijan and urged the international community to continue  to encourage the pursuit of dialogue. Their peoples can “assist the displaced, respect the places of worship of the various religious confessions, and arrive as soon as possible at a definitive peace agreement.”
  • Finally, he prayed for reconciliation in Myanmar and for divine consolation and strength to the Rohingya people who face “a grave humanitarian crisis.”

Pope Francis made a powerful and emotional plea for children caught in violence and conflicts around the world.

“Let us not allow the current hostilities to continue to have grave repercussions on the civil population by now at the limit of its endurance,” Pope Francis said.

“How much suffering we see in the eyes of the children,” he said. 

“The children in those war zones have forgotten how to smile. With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction?”

“Peace is never made with arms but with outstretched hands and open hearts.”

“On this day when we celebrate the resurrection, let us remember the infinite love of God for each of us.

This love, he said, “overcomes every limit and every weakness.” 

“And yet how much the precious gift of life is despised! How many children cannot even be born? How many die of hunger and are deprived of essential care or are victims of abuse and violence? 

He also wondered how many lives we must continue to make “objects of trafficking for the increasing commerce in human beings?”

Pope Francis prayed that the light of the Resurrection will “illuminate our minds and convert our hearts, and make us aware of the value of every human life, which must be welcomed, protected, and loved. “

“A happy Easter to all!” he concluded.

Slug: Pope pleads for conflict victims worldwide


  • Ogbuagu Bob Anikwe is the publisher of Enugu Metro. He writes a well-received column for Enugu Metro (on Sundays) and the (Nigerian) Sun Newspaper every Thursday. Contact Bob through any of the channels below or send an SMS to +234 803 622-0298.

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