Pope: How many more deaths needed to bring about peace in Ukraine?

Nur-Sultan, Sep 14 (EFE).- Pope Francis on Wednesday made an urgent plea for an end to the carnage in Ukraine, asking rhetorically during a Mass in Kazakhstan’s capital, “What must still happen, how many more deaths should we expect?”

His call for peace in war-torn Ukraine was made at the closing of the Mass celebrated on the grounds of the Expo 2017 Astana in Nur-Sultan. Some 7,000 people representing the 125,000 Kazakh Catholics, less than 1% of this vast country of 19 million inhabitants, of whom 70% are Muslim, attended the Mass.

“I think of so many places martyred by war, especially in beloved Ukraine. Let’s not get used to war, let’s not resign ourselves to the inevitable,” he said.

“Let us help those who suffer and insist that peace be really attempted. What still needs to happen, what number of deaths should we expect before rivalries give way to dialogue for the good of the people and of humanity?” he lamented.

“The only way out is peace and the only way to get there is dialogue,” he said, and asked the congregation to pray “that the world learns to build peace, reduces the arms race, and turns the enormous costs of war into concrete aid to the population.”

He also expressed his concern about the resumption of attacks on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan: “Let us continue to pray that peaceful confrontation and harmony prevail also in these territories,” he said in reference to the long-standing dispute over the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.

The Argentine pontiff participated Wednesday in the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and in his speech at the gathering he asked religious leaders to “never justify violence…God never supports war.” EFE



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