VATICAN CITY, ITALY - During a Mass Sunday, Pope Benedict called for urgent peace in the Middle East.
The mass marked the end of a two week summit of Bishops from the region. The meeting was called by the Pontiff to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East because of an exodus of members of faith from the birthplace of christianity.
The region is largely Muslim, and the Catholic Church has always been a long standing minority. The Church's presence is continuing to dwindle because of war, conflict, discrimination, and economic hardship.
The Bishops condemned "terrorism" and anti-Semitism, and put blame on continuing conflicts on Israel.
The Pope has said in many Middle Eastern Countries there is "often little room for religious freedom."