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His Holiness

Pope Francis calls for 'appropriate response' to ISIS

Pope Francis on Sunday urged the international community to head off ISIS and prevent the persecution of Christians who have lived in the Middle East for thousands of years.

"The terrible situation of Christians and all those who are suffering in the Middle East calls not only for our constant prayer but also for an appropriate response," Francis said in a joint statement with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ISIS militants were committing a "profoundly grave sin against God," he added.

The statement came as Pope Francis wrapped up his first visit to Turkey, which is sheltering roughly two million refugees who fled ISIS.