Pope Francis’ Easter message from the Vatican has urged for an end to the “carnage” in Syria.
The pontiff also asked God to heal the wounds in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and urged dialogue on the Korean peninsula.
He said the power of the Christian message gave hope to the deprived.
Tens of thousands of people were in St Peter’s Square to hear the Pope speak from the balcony of the basilica.
He said: “Today we implore fruits of peace upon the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long suffering land of Syria whose people are worn down by an apparently endless war.
“This Easter may the light of the risen Christ illuminate the consciences of all political and military leaders, so that a swift end may be brought to the carnage in course; that humanitarian law may be respected; and that provisions be made to facilitate access to the aid so urgently needed.”
On relations between North and South Korea, Pope Francis said he hoped talks aiming to ease longstanding tensions on the Korean peninsula would “advance harmony and peace”.
He also expressed hope for an end to violence and division in Ukraine and Venezuela.
Pope Francis was speaking in an “Urbi et Orbi” address from the famous central balcony at St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, in front of tens of thousands of the faithful.