Vatican City, 20 December, 2019 / 2:40 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis and the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres recorded a video message together at the Vatican Friday in which the two leaders urge the importance of religious freedom, human dignity, and environmental protection.
“We must not remain indifferent to the human dignity trampled on and exploited, to attacks against human life, whether it is yet to be born or that of every person in need of care,” Pope Francis said in the video message recorded with the the UN Secretary General at the Vatican Apostolic Palace Dec. 20.
“We cannot, we must not turn away when the believers of various faiths are persecuted, in different parts of the world. The use of religion to incite hatred … cries out for God’s justice,” the pope said.
The UN Secretary General added: “Tragically we see Jews being murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalized; Christians killed at prayers, their churches torched. We need to do more to promote mutual understanding and tackle rising hatred.”
“Our meeting is especially meaningful during this Christmas season. This is a time of peace and goodwill and I am sad to witness Christian communities – including some of the world’s oldest - unable to celebrate Christmas in safety,” Guterres said.