Pope Francis has urged Roman Catholics not to ignore the plight of millions of migrants “driven from their land”, during Christmas Eve mass.
The Pontiff compared them to Mary and Joseph, recounting the biblical story of how they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem but found no place to stay.
Many migrants, he said, were being forced to flee from leaders who “see no problem in shedding innocent blood”.
The number of refugees worldwide exceeds 22 million, with the latest cross-border influx being the Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar.
The leader of the world’s estimated 1.2bn roman Catholics also stressed that faith demanded that foreigners be welcomed everywhere.