Pope Francis on Sunday called for an end to the fighting in Syria and also urged Palestinians and Israelis to abandon hate and revenge. Addressing the Vatican on Christmas Day, the pontiff said that the international community must find a solution to the Syrian war, reported BBC.

“Peace to those who have lost a person dear to them as a result of brutal acts of terrorism,” he said, speaking in Italian to the gathering at St Peter’s Square. The pontiff said global terrorism had “sown fear and death into the hearts of so many countries and cities”, Reuters reported.

The Pope further said that Christmas had been “taken hostage” by dazzling materialism that puts god in the shadows. He called for more compassionate towards refugees and migrants, reminding Christians that Jesus himself was a migrant. Referring to Boko Haram, Pope Francis lamented the “fundamentalist terrorism” in Nigeria.

Security was heightened at the Vatican after the Italian police killed Anis Amri – the Tunisian suspect believed to be behind the Christmas market attack in Germany’s Berlin – in a shootout in the outskirts of Milan.