Easter: Christian leaders call on world leaders to end conflicts

Christian leaders all over the world called for peace in their Easter messages, with Pope Francis urging world leaders to stop the spread of conflicts as the tension in North Korea and Syria escalated.

(REUTERS / Max Rossi)Pope Francis holds Book of the Gospels as he leads the Easter vigil mass in Saint Peter's basilica at the Vatican, April 15, 2017.

In his Urbi et Orbi message on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for guidance for the forces working to establish peace and justice in the world. The pontiff delivered the message under heightened security measures in St. Peter's Square in light of the recent vehicle attacks which targeted civilians in London and Stockholm, ABC details.

"In the complex and often dramatic situations of today's world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace," said Pope Francis. "May he grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade."

The pope also spoke about the bombing of a bus convoy in Syria which left more than 100 dead. He condemned the incident as the "latest vile attack on fleeing refugees," The Guardian reports.

The pope's message also comes hours after North Korea warned of retaliation against the U.S. if the latter does not stop its "military hysteria." The warning was issued as a U.S. aircraft carrier group approached the reclusive state as it celebrated its founding father's 105th birth anniversary.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, used his Easter message to denounce the deadly attacks on Egyptian Christians last week. He acknowledged the grim feelings of the Christians in that region, but he also recalled Jesus' encouragement to the believers that they should not be afraid.

In Melbourne, Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier called on the faithful to regain compassion and to work to overcome their human shortcomings. He said many of them are well provided for when it comes to material needs, but they should also remember that there are a lot more people who are struggling to do the same.

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