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Pope Francis: Those who foment fear of immigrants are sowers of hate

The pope's message for the 2018 World Day of Peace reminds everyone that there are 250 million migrants in the world, and 22 million of them are refugees. His request is for the international community to take concrete actions to welcome them.

CARD. PETER TURKSON
Prefect, Dicastery for Integral Human Development

“So, a roof over their head, a work to do and a place to live. If development is seen as ensuring these three elements and they are making them accessible and available to everybody, we´re already promoting development.”

The content of the pope's message was presented in the Vatican for the World Day of Peace, which is celebrated each January first.

Pope Francis has lashed out against politicians who foment fear of immigrants. These people "sow violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia." The solution to end the fears is to reduce inequalities.

MSGR. SILVANO TOMASI
Dicastery for Integral Human Development

"That one percent of the richest people in the world own more than 50 percent of the world's wealth is not reasonable. Peace flourishes when there is less inequality and injustice. When there is less inequality and injustice there are also fewer migrations and people can defend their first right, that of not having to emigrate."

The pope proposes a change in how migrants and refugees are viewed, and invites governments "to view (migrants) with confidence as an opportunity to build peace."

He also expresses his support for the UN Global Compacts to be drafted in 2018. They are two legal frameworks to protect refugees and migrants.

The Vatican, in fact, sent 20 proposals to the UN based on the experiences gathered from the Episcopal Conferences who are experiencing the worst migrant and refugee crises.

The World Day of Peace has been celebrated in the Church every January since 1968, at the request of Pope Paul VI.