Pope Francis spoke out against the “rejection” of refugees while delivering his Easter mass Sunday Morning, and asked Christians not to let fear and pessimism “imprison” them.
“Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control our hearts,” the pope said as part of his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" Easter message amid tight security at the Vatican. He also condemned Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels which killed 31 people and injured 290 others.
“The Easter message of the risen Christ... invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees... fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice,” the pope said.
“All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance,” he added.
On Thursday, the pope washed and kissed the feet of refugees as part of a traditional pre-Easter ritual and slammed arms makers, saying they are partly responsible for Islamist militant attacks. The ceremony commemorates Jesus' gesture of humility towards his apostles on the night before he died.
“Today is the celebration of our hope. It is so necessary today,” the pope said Sunday.