Pope Francis remembers victims of Brussels violence on Good Friday
As Christians around the world commemorated the crucifixion of Christ, Pope Francis denounced terrorism and indifference to refugees, calling on people not to be overwhelmed by the "apparent victory of evil," according to Deutsche Welle.
In his Good Friday prayers, Pope Francis condemned "terrorist acts committed by followers of some religions which profane the name of God and which use the holy name to justify their unprecedented violence." His comments came after Tuesday's attacks in Brussels, which left 31 dead and 270 wounded, DW wrote.
The 79-year-old pontiff also referred to the refugee crisis, saying, "O Cross of Christ, today we see you in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas which have become insatiable cemeteries, reflections of our indifferent and anaesthetized conscience."
The pope also listened to a lengthy meditation by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, who deplored the conditions of "the millions of refugees desperately fleeing the horror of war, persecution and dictatorship."
Pope Francis' address came after he led a Good Friday procession at Rome's Colosseum amid tightened security, with police and sniffer dogs inspecting the ancient arena before the procession began. Thousands of people gathered during the march, holding candles and prayer books.
Two Syrians joined Russian, Chinese and Central African believers in carrying the wooden cross along the Via Crucis or the Way of the Cross.
Pope Francis will also take part in an evening vigil at St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday before delivering his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" blessing to the world on Easter Sunday.