Vatican City, Dec 13 (DPA) Pope Benedict XVI has denounced terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons and has described hunger, abortion, experimentation on human embryos and euthanasia as "an attack on peace".
The Pope's views are expressed in a message marking the Church's Jan 1 World Day of Peace, which was published by the Vatican Tuesday.
"The duty to respect the dignity of each human being, in whose nature the image of the Creator is reflected, means in consequence that the person cannot be disposed of at will," the Pope writes.
"As far as the right to life is concerned, we must denounce its widespread violation in our society: alongside the victims of armed conflicts, terrorism and the different forms of violence, there are the silent deaths caused by hunger, abortion, experimentation on human embryos and euthanasia.
"How can we fail to see in all this an attack on peace? Abortion and embryonic experimentation constitute a direct denial of that attitude of acceptance of others which is indispensable for establishing lasting relationships of peace."
In his message, the Pope also calls for "international accords for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons" and denounces the difficulties facing Christians in professing their religion in some societies, including in the West.
"There are regimes that impose a single religion upon everyone, while secular regimes often lead not so much to violent persecution as to systematic cultural denigration of religious beliefs.
"In both instances, a fundamental human right is not being respected, with serious repercussions for peaceful coexistence. This can only promote a mentality and culture that is not conducive to peace."