Vatican City, Apr 18, 2004 / 22:00 pm
On Sunday, at the end of the noon prayer of the Regina Caeli, Pope John Paul called for kidnappers of hostages in Iraq to show "humanity" and return the hostages to their families.
"I am particularly close in thought and prayer to the families of all those who fear for the fate of their loved ones, especially all those who have been taken hostage," the Pontiff said.
"I invite the kidnappers to have feelings of humanity," "I entreat them to give back to the families the persons who are in their hands, while I pray to merciful God for the populations of the Holy Land and Iraq and for all those in that region who work for reconciliation and peace," the Pope added.
Fifteen foreigners, including two Americans, are missing after a wave of abductions that erupted earlier in April.