Pope Francis delivered the homily at the closing Vespers of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Basilica of St. Paul "Outside the Walls" in Rome on Monday evening. Below, please find Vatican Radio's full English translation of the Holy Father's prepared remarks.

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NAIROBI, Kenya - A Muslim man who shielded Christians after a passenger bus was ambushed by suspected al-Shabab militants is being saluted as a symbol of unity.

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WASHINGTON - With North Korea leading the way and Islamic extremism rapidly expanding, 2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution,” according to a group tracking this issue.

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AMMAN, Jordan - With crises in Syria and Iraq deepening, Catholic bishops on a solidarity visit with the "forgotten" Christians of the Middle East are urging stepped-up peace efforts to resolve conflicts tearing apart the troubled region.

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VATICAN CITY - Singing is good for one's soul and, as St. Augustine says, Christian life is not a sad path but a joyous one that is done "singing and walking," Pope Francis said.

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NAIROBI, Kenya - Christian leaders have hailed as an act of bravery and selflessness the shielding of some Christians by Muslims after suspected al-Shabab gunmen in Mandera County ambushed a passenger bus.

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OTTAWA - Canada’s Catholic bishops and the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus are asking the Canadian government to make helping persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Africa, whom Pope Francis and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks say face genocide, a priority.

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OXFORD, England - A Catholic leader in the Central African Republic said Christian-Muslim ties were affected positively by Pope Francis' Nov. 29-30 visit and his simple message of living peacefully.

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ROME - The survival of Christianity in the Middle East has reached such a critical point that the chances of dialogue and reconciliation in the region are being threatened, said Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

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TARTUS, Syria - Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, visiting Syria, urged Christians to hold onto their faith.

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September 24, 2015

People before politics

To be a Christian in Cuba means being subjected to state surveillance, discrimination, harassment and sometimes arrest. It also means being a casualty of the punishing U.S. trade embargo that inflicts unjust suffering on all Cubans.

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Canada’s 35,000 Catholic Saint Thomas Christians will have a bishop of their own as of lunchtime Saturday, Sept. 18.

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On Sept. 7, BuzzFeed released a YouTube video titled I Am Christian, But... to address popular misconceptions about the Christian faith. The Register asked our youth writers to watch the video and offer us their thoughts.

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JERUSALEM - As Israeli students began their second week of classes Sept. 6, thousands of students and teachers from Christian schools converged in front of the Israeli prime minister's office to protest government budget cuts to their schools.

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JERUSALEM - Israel’s 47 Christian schools are entering the second week of an open-ended strike to protest ongoing cuts in government allocations, which they attribute to government discrimination against minority religious groups.

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