Dear Pax Christi members and friends around the world,

pcilogonewChristian communities have started their preparation for the celebration of Christmas, the commemoration of the birth of Jesus – called “Prince of Peace” by Isaiah – in Bethlehem. With the destruction of Gaza in July still fresh in our minds, it is certainly not easy to associate peace with occupied Palestine, but it is not easy either to associate peace with many other countries in our world. This has been a very tough year for millions of people in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ukraine… and sadly, in too many countries that can be listed here. In 2014, we remembered the beginning of the First World War, but while looking at our world today, it seems we have not learned the lesson yet.

In 1979, with an imminent civil war in El Salvador, in his last Christmas homily, Monsignor Oscar Romero told the people attending the celebration: “I congratulate you, brothers and sisters, not only because it is Christmas, but because you are courageous. While many people are afraid and stay indoors […] you are, tonight, a witness of what Christmas is meant to be. In the midst of the world, notwithstanding the dangers, vicissitudes, psychoses, and fears, there is hope […]”…

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