(JNS.org) Pope Francis renewed his call for the international community to do more to stop the persecution of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East and Africa during his address to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Friday.
“I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries,” Pope Francis said.
“Where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement,” he added.
Pope Francis, who is in the midst of a historic six-day U.S. trip, on Thursday addressed Congress, where he also spoke about religious extremism, saying that “no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism.”
In his U.N. address, Pope Francis called on the international community to intervene and to do more to “stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.”
Pope Francis also sounded optimistic about the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
“I express my hope that this agreement will be lasting and efficacious, and bring forth the desired fruits with the cooperation of all the parties involved,” he said.