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Pope laments ‘winds of war’ blowing around the world

By Associated Press

Published: 06:37 EST, 25 December 2017 | Updated: 06:37 EST, 25 December 2017

VATICAN CITY (AP) – As Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, the pope has depicted suffering reflected "in the faces of little children," citing war and other tensions in places including the Middle East, Africa and the Korean Peninsula.

Pope Francis told the faithful Monday that "the winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline."

In his traditional Christmas message and blessing, 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."

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

He offered a prayer that "confrontation may be overcome on the Korean Peninsula."

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis, flanked by Master of Ceremonies Bishop Guido Marini, waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Pope Francis, flanked by Master of Ceremonies Bishop Guido Marini, waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis, flanked by Master of Ceremonies Bishop Guido Marini, waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis arrivers to deliver the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Pope Francis arrivers to deliver the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis arrivers to deliver the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Vatican Swiss guards march toward the St. Peter's Basilica prior to the start of Pope Francis' Urbi et Orbi (Latin for 'to the city and to the world') Christmas' day blessing at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

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