Pope Francis called for an end to the conflict and bloodshed which has ravaged Libya for these past years.

Pope Francis made this appeal for peace during his traditional Easter message and the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the Loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope said that defenseless people are dying in Libya with families being forced to abandon their homes. He encouraged the parties involved to opt for dialogue over force and to avoid opening wounds left by decades of conflict and political instability.

According to the Pope, parts of the African continent are rife with  “rife with social tensions, conflicts and at times violent forms of extremism that leave in their wake insecurity, destruction and death.”

Syria and the Middle East

The Pontiff spoke about the situation in Syria which faces an ongoing conflict and said that there is a risk that people will become resigned and indifferent.

““Now is instead the time for a renewed commitment for a political solution able to respond to people’s legitimate hopes for freedom, peace and justice, confront the humanitarian crisis and favor the secure re-entry of the homeless, along with all those who have taken refuge in neighboring countries, especially Lebanon and Jordan.”

The Pope said that today the Church will be renewing the proclamation made by the first disciples that Jesus is risen. Addressing youths, he said that “Christ is alive.”

The Pope prayed for the light of Easter to illuminate all government leaders “beginning with the Israelis and Palestinians,” and lead them to pursue a future of peace and stability.

Sudan and South Sudan

The Pontiff said he was thinking of Sudan, a country which he referred to as one which is presently experiencing political uncertainty. Recently he kissed the feet of South Sudanese dignitaries following his speech welcoming their peace agreement.

In his Easter message, the Pope said that he hopes that all voices will be heard to find the required development and well being.

Regarding Eastern Ukraine, the Pope prayed for Easter to bring comfort to its people. He prayed for initiatives of humanitarian aid and for efforts towards peace.

Venezuelan people are lacking minimal conditions to dignified life – Pope

“I think in particular of the Venezuelan people, of all those who lack the minimal conditions for leading a dignified and secure life due to a crisis that endures and worsens. May the Lord grant that all those with political responsibilities may work to end social injustices, abuses and acts of violence, and take the concrete steps needed to heal divisions and offer the population the help they need.”

The Pope usually delivers his To The City and The World blessing twice a year – on Christmas Day and on Easter Sunday. This year, the Pontiff mentioned Libya, Syria, eastern Ukraine, Yemen, Israel and Palestine, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan, South Sudan, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. Pope Francis prayed for the Lord to turn people into builders of bridges and not of walls. “May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms,” said the Pope.

At the conclusion of his address, Pope Francis expressed his condolences to the Christian Community in Sri Lanka. Easter Day bomb blasts at three churches and three luxury hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.