Pope Francis has condemned the "rejection" of migrants and refugees in his Easter message, as Europe struggles with its biggest migration crisis since World War II. Security was tight as he delivered his Easter Sunday mass to crowds of people.
"The Easter message of the risen Christ ... invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees ... fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice," the Pope said.
"All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance."
The pontiff has long called for the global community to open its doors to asylum seekers and fight xenophobia — appeals which have intensified since a controversial deal between Europe and Turkey to expel migrants and refugees arriving in Greece.
During Good Friday prayers, the pontiff had also decried what he called Europe's "indifferent and anaesthetised conscience" over asylum seekers. On Sunday, the Pope also referred to Syria's "lengthy conflict, with its sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law".
"Good will and the cooperation of all will bear fruit in peace and initiate the building of a fraternal society," he said.