Pope Francis (C) waves as he leaves during an audience with the diplomatic corps at the Vatican January 13, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Medichini/Pool
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Pope Francis on Monday called for renewed political will to end the conflict in Syria and lamented a "general indifference" to the plight of refugees around the world.In his first "State of the World" address to diplomats from 180 countries accredited to the Vatican, Francis also spoke of his concern over violence in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and parts of Africa.Christians now comprise 5 percent of the population of the Middle East, down from 20 percent a century ago. According to some estimates, the current population of 12 million Christians in the Middle East could halve by 2020 .
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