Pope Francis laments ‘winds of war,’ tensions around the world

In his traditional Christmas message and blessing, Pope Francis has noted suffering reflected “in the faces of little children,” citing war and tensions in the Middle East, Africa and the Korean Peninsula. He told the faithful Monday that “the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline,” AP reports. The pontiff said children in the Middle East “continue to suffer because of growing tension between Israelis and Palestinians,” while Syria remains “marked by war” and ongoing conflict in Yemen “has been largely forgotten.” He also offered a prayer that “confrontation may be overcome on the Korean Peninsula.”