Pope Prays for Israeli-Arab Peace, Safety of Mideast Christians on Christmas Eve
While leading the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Monday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of his wish for the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well the end of violence in Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
“Let us pray that Israelis and Palestinians be able to live their lives in the peace of the one God and in freedom,” the Pope said. Additionally, he expressed concern for the dwindling number of Christians in the Middle East and his hope that “Christians in those lands where our faith was born maybe be able to continue living there,” while Christians and Muslims “build up their countries side by side in God’s peace.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also issued a Christmas greeting, wishing Christians “a year of security, prosperity and peace.”