Pope Francis has called for a new style of politics built on peace and pleaded for disarmament, the eradication of nuclear weapons and an end to domestic violence and abuse against women and children.

“Violence is not the cure for our broken world,” he said in his message ahead of the World Day of Peace on January 1.

“It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment or seek to win at any cost,” he added.

The message said building a world of peace requires a “willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it”.

“Active non-violence is a way of showing that unity is truly more powerful and more fruitful than conflict,” the Pope said.

His message, which the Vatican sends to heads of state around the world, invited everyone “to banish violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming non-violent people and to build non-violent communities that care for our common home”. Building a new politics of non-violence starts in the heart and the home, he said. It is in the family that people can learn how to communicate, be generous and caring, and resolve conflicts “not by force but by dialogue, respect, concern for the good of the other, mercy and forgiveness”.

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