VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is calling on the international community to respond to the killing of Christians in several parts of the world, saying, "don't look the other way."

The pope has been increasingly dismayed about what he has called "complicit silence" about the martyrdom of Christians. Speaking to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square Monday, the pope said "our persecuted brothers and sisters" were "slain, beheaded solely for being Christian."

Islamic extremists have targeted Christians in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Francis expressed hope that the international community "won't remain inert before such unacceptable crimes, which constitute a worrisome erosion of the most elementary human rights."

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