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Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs meet in Bkerke, Lebanon (CNS)

The ecumenical meeting comes after clashes between the Lebanese army and Syria-based militants

Pope Francis presents Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland with the pallium on June 29 2013 (CNS)

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Pope Francis (PA)

Pope Francis also called on Muslim leaders and other religious officials to condemn terrorism in speech

Pope Francis (AP)

The Vatican has released a translation of the speech delivered by Francis at the Apostolic Palace

Pope Francis appears for his Urbi et Orbi blessing on Christmas Day (AP/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pontiff prays for children ‘abused and exploited under our eyes’ in Urbi et Orbi message

A delegation of Australian bishops to Lebanon and Iraq distribute gifts to refugees ahead of Christmas at Caritas Lebanon (CNS)

Australian bishops say they have seen ‘Christ reborn again’ among refugees in Lebanon and Iraq

An Iraqi Christian child who fled violence in Mosul (CNS)

Francis writes Christmas message of support to beleaguered Christians in the Middle East

When baby Mariam was born her mother laid her in a bed made from a plastic bag Below: Refugees in a camp near Erbil (Sahar Mansour)

In an Iraqi Christian refugee camp old men savour memories of Christmas dinners and young mothers anxiously nurse their newborns

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I wave to the faithful in Istanbul (AP)

Francis meets refugees after issuing joint declaration with Patriarch Bartholomew

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have increased

Violence mounts following synagogue murders