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Pope Francis encouraged Catholics in Africa to reject abortion and treat children as a blessing on Thursday in Kenya.

“We are also called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women, and threaten the life of the innocent unborn,” the pontiff said during a Mass at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, according to the BBC.

He encouraged young people to stand up for the sanctity of every human life by shaping “a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity.” He added that they “should reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination.”

Pope Francis told the crowd: “Our faith in God’s word calls us to support families in their mission in society, to accept children as a blessing for our world, and to defend the dignity of each man and woman, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the one human family.”

The pope’s words came to a country that has been targeted by abortion advocates in recent years. Though its ambassador to the United Nations strongly denounced abortion earlier this year, Kenya has been pushed to expand abortion by the UN and the Obama Administration.





Pope Francis has been emphasizing the sanctity of human consistently during his visits across the world. When he came to the U.S. in September, the pope admonished members of Congress to “defend life at every stage of development.”

“The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development,” he told U.S. Congress. “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity.”