Christmas Messages From Around The World

Leaders and notable figures across the world offered up Christmas messages Wednesday. We hear holiday greetings from Pope Francis, President Obama and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Christmas brings a host of seasonal greetings from world leaders.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello everybody, and Happy Holidays.

SIEGEL: And along with the greetings comes guidance. President Obama and the first lady encouraged family time, volunteer work, and support of the troops who serve overseas.

Pope Francis, in his first Christmas message, reflected on suffering in war in Nigeria, South Sudan and in Syria.

FRANCIS I: (Foreign language spoken)

SIEGEL: Francis told the crowd at Saint Peter's Basilica: Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. And he asked God to spare further suffering and to speed an end to the violence.

And - while not a world leader - Edward Snowden accepted a invitation from the BBC to give a holiday address.

EDWARD SNOWDEN: Hi and Merry Christmas.

SIEGEL: The former NSA analyst cited the novel 1984, saying government spying is now more powerful than anything George Orwell envisioned.

SNOWDEN: A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves - an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought.

SIEGEL: Snowden urged people to find a better balance between technology and privacy, and to end mass surveillance.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: