VATICAN CITY (ANS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has spoken in condemnation against the violence of Christians in India and Iraq, The Times of India reported, Sunday.
The Times of India went on to report that after a ceremony canonizing Sister Alfonsa, an Indian saint who died in 1946, he told the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square, "I invite you to pray for peace and reconciliation as situations cause concern and great suffering… I think of violence against Christians in India and Iraq."
He addressed the Indians present in Vatican City who made the trip to honor Sister Alfonsa -who along with Mother Teresa is among the first female saints from India, to be canonized. Mother Teresa who served the poor in Calcutta was canonized five years ago, and originally from Albania.
Further, The Times of India reported that India's Christian minority, estimated to comprise 2 percent of the population, has felt threatened in recent months.
In Iraq, the government reported having dispatched 1,000 police to the northern city of Mosul on Sunday, in order to protect Christians who have become the target of the worst violence perpetrated against their community in five years, according to The Times of India.
Nearly 1,000 Christian families have fled homes in the city since Friday, taking shelter on the northern and eastern fringes of Nineveh province after at least 11 Christians died in a spate of attacks in recent weeks, The Times of India went on to report.