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Pope during Urbi et Orbi: 'My Christmas wish is fraternity'

Pope Francis gave a Christmas "wish for fraternity" Tuesday to a crowd at St Peter's Square in Vatican City.

During his Christmas address, the pope said, "God is a good Father and we are all brothers and sisters" -- and added, "without Jesus' gift of fraternity, what we do to build a more just world would be soulless and empty."

Specifically, the pope addressed several countries and continents individually, making his appeal for peace throughout the world. He encouraged the Israelis and Palestinians to continue dialogue that could hopefully lead to a break in the 70-year conflict to establish control over "the land chosen by the Lord to show his face of love".

"We are all brothers," he continued. "Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness."

The pontiff also gave individual messages to several countries and continents:

To Africa, that the "Holy Child, the King of Peace" may "silence the clash of arms" bringing in a "new dawn of fraternity to rise over the entire continent".

To the Korean peninsula, he prayed for the consolidation of the "bonds of fraternity" set in motion this year.

To Nicaraguans, he wished that they may "see themselves once more as brothers and sisters" through reuniting and building the country's future together.

To Syrians, he hoped that they "find fraternity after long years of war" and that through global agreement those who have fled may return home. He added, "so that the Syrian people, especially all those who were forced to leave their own lands and seek refuge elsewhere, can return to live in peace in their own country." A seven-year civil war has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

To Ukrainians, he wished "the Newborn Lord" may "bring relief" and "a lasting peace" that comes from respect for the "rights of every nation".

To Yemen, he hoped that the cease-fire will remain and bring relief to her people and children "exhausted by war and famine".

To Venezuelans, the pope prayed they may "recover social harmony" to bring in "work fraternally" for the nation's development.

To people celebrating Christmas in violent communities, Francis prayed that all minorities gain the right of religious freedom to live peacefully.

His conciliatory message follows a summer when he called on the U.S. to stop separating families at the Mexico border.

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