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Pope Francis pushes for inclusion in race, class, religion

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is advocating policies of inclusion, saying God's plan doesn't exclude people based on their social class, race or religion.

Francis told a group of faithful on Saturday that Christians should welcome others "without classifying them on the basis of social condition, language, race, culture, religion."

He added "mercy is that way of acting, that style, with which we try to include others in our life, avoiding closing up into ourselves and into our selfish securities. In front of us there is only one person to love as God loves."

Francis' message comes as anti-immigrant politicians are enjoying a surge in popularity in many developed countries.

The pope spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the last special general audience for the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy, which officially ends Nov. 20. His message centered Saturday centered on the "universal invitation" of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."

"No one is excluded from this call, because the mission of Jesus is to reveal to everyone the Father's love," he said.

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