Michael D. Higgins compares the Christmas story to the plight of refugees and displaced peopls today in his 2017 Christmas and New Year’s message.

The Irish President Michael D. Higgins has evoked the story of the nativity as he takes a strong stand in solidarity with refugees and displaced people in his 2017 Christmas and New Year’s message.

Speaking from his home at Áras an Uachtaráin in Phoenix Park, Dublin, President Higgins spoke on our shared failure to achieve peace in the world and our failure to protect those who will find this Christmas to be “a dark and difficult one,” condemning those who, he believes, choose to provoke rather than seek out a pathway to peace.

“Christmas is a time when we can pause for reflection, as we look back on the year gone by,” the President states.

“It is a time when it is surely appropriate to recall the story that lies at the heart of this festive season. That story is of a long and difficult journey, and the birth of a child, in a temporary home, in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.

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Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Image: WikiCommons.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins. Image: WikiCommons.

“Let us think too of how far from a state of peace that region is today, and how the absence of peace reflects our failure at a human and diplomatic level, and how, sadly, we hear words that provoke rather than heal.

“We are challenged, I suggest, to turn this time of celebration into a sustained commitment of awareness and care for those for whom each day is an act of survival,” he continues, while thanking the groups and individuals who work to support those who are vulnerable.

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While asking the people of Ireland to think on the plight of refugees and displaced people, the President concludes that he believes “Irish citizens across the world will stand with those who are suffering and that they will, as before, support those who are responding to these crises, and who are thus showing solidarity with the most vulnerable.”

This is the second year in a row that President Higgins has focused his Christmas and New Year message on refugees and the homeless.

You can see the President’s full Christmas card to Ireland here:

What do you make of the President's 2017 Christmas message? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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