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Pope asks God to ‘repay’ those who shelter migrants

world Updated: Dec 25, 2015 18:18 IST

Pope Francis waves from the balcony of St Peter's basilica during the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" Christmas message to the city and the world.(AFP Photo)

Pope Francis used his Christmas message on Friday to call for solidarity with migrants while praising those who shelter them.

“May God repay all those, both individuals and states, who generously work to provide assistance and welcome to the numerous migrants and refugees,” Francis said after a year that saw more than one million migrants reach Europe.

He called for “encouragement... to all those fleeing extreme poverty or war, travelling all too often in inhumane conditions and not infrequently at the risk of their lives.”

Francis praised those who are helping migrants “to build a dignified future for themselves and for their dear ones, and to be integrated in the societies which receive them.”