It was in October when three Christian leaders from Africa to meet with the Pope and discuss the situation of their country pertaining to child soldiers. Due to this the Pope, in his December prayer intentions, plead for children to stop being used as soldiers by adults who started the wars.
His plea is: "That the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated the world over."
He also announced an intention for evangelism: "That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life."
It was in October 27 of this year when the Pope met with Archbishop Paulino Luduku Loro of Jubo, South Sudan, Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Archbishop of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, and Rev. Peter Gai Lual Marrow, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan.
The three showed solidarity and met with the Pope in Rome to air out their issues and concerns regarding the state of their country. Child soldiers in Sudan number to around 16,000, one of the worst numbers in the word. Archbishop Loro has said that the numbers rise not just because of forcing the children, but sometimes they choose to become child soldiers without anyone recruiting them.
He further claimed that the only way for the recruitment of child soldiers to stop is of the fighting would stop and peace talks start.
"It's because they feel the problem, they are grieved, they feel that there is an injustice in the administration of the government and here you have young boys, young children, by themselves. They are not even recruited by anybody," he said.
In the prayer video released by the Pope, Pope Francis called the phenomenon of child soldiers as a form of slavery. The video shows a soldier preparing for battle wearing his boots and preparing his ammunition. The scene pans out to show a young boy. While pulling down his bandanna, a voiceover from the Pope in his native Spanish narrates that "the world has developed sophisticated technologies and weapons are sold that end up in the hands of child soldiers."
The video ends with the Pope' voice pleading that everything must be done to preserve the dignity of the children, and asked that whoever is moved by their stories join him in his prayer intentions.