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Pope’s plea to world leaders

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Offering his Easter blessing and prayers, Pope John Paul II called on world leaders to resolve ongoing conflicts in Iraq, the Holy Land and parts of Africa.

In his Easter Sunday message, broadcast to millions of people around the world, the Pope also urged national and international institutions to work toward “a more effective and peaceful world order”.

“May world leaders be confirmed and sustained in their efforts to resolve satisfactorily the continuing conflicts that cause bloodshed in certain regions of Africa, Iraq and the Holy Land,” he said.

The Pope said religion should be the foundation for peace, not war.

He called on “all those who consider themselves children of Abraham” – Christians, Jews and Muslims – to “rediscover the brotherhood they share”, and he asked that God prompt “in them designs of co-operation and peace”.

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