And Christians around the world celebrated Christmas this weekend. On Sunday night, Pope Francis called for peace in Jerusalem and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his Christmas Eve Mass.
Pope Francis: “On this festive day, let us ask the lord for peace for Jerusalem and for all the holy land. Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders.”
Pope Francis’s call comes amid ongoing protests across the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories after President Trump announced the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there. An Israeli military crackdown against the ongoing protests has killed at least 12 Palestinians so far. During Pope Francis’s Christmas Eve Mass, he also lifted up the plight of refugees worldwide and called for peace for the Muslim-minority Rohingya, who have been the victims of a brutal ethnic cleansing campaign by the Burmese military.
Pope Francis: “I see Jesus again in the children I met during my recent visit to Burma and Bangladesh, and it is my hope that the international community will not cease to work to ensure that the dignity of the minority groups present in the region is adequately protected.”
The U.N. General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding Burma end the military campaign against the Rohingya, grant the persecuted minority group full citizenship rights and ensure the safe return of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who have fled into neighboring Bangladesh.