Pope Francis on Sunday urged prayers for the Ukrainian and Russian people, thanked countries that accept refugees, and urged Israelis and Palestinians who are suffering from the most recent upsurge in fatal violence to create a "climate of trust" in his Easter message, which emphasised hope.

Francis has consistently urged an end to the hostilities and asked for prayers for the "martyred" Ukrainian people ever since Russia's invasion of the neighbouring country of Ukraine in February 2022.

As the Vatican strives to avoid upsetting Moscow, Ukrainian officials have grumbled that Francis hasn't been harsh enough in his words towards Russia and notably Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Bring the light of Easter to the people of Russia, and aid the beloved Ukrainian people on their path to peace," Francis prayed in his Easter sermon to God.

Fill in some"Comfort the wounded and all who have lost loved ones in the war, and grant that prisoners may return to their families safely." text

He called on the international community to work to put an end to "all conflict and bloodshed in the world, starting with Syria, which still awaits peace" as well as the crisis in Ukraine.

Francis also prayed that national leaders "ensure that no man or woman may encounter discrimination" and that there would be "full respect for human rights and democracy."

The pope bemoaned that Tunisia's people, particularly the young, suffer from social and economic misery, with refugees risking their lives on smugglers' unsafe boats in hopes of reaching Europe.

Dozens of people have lost their lives or gone missing in the past two weeks while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia.

The Vatican's crowd count indicates that by the time the pope finished his visit, about 100,000 people had gathered in the square for the pontiff's speech.