In a speech that urged the pursuit of peace in the New Year, Pope Francis on Monday called upon religious leaders around the world to reject killing in the name of god.
The pontiff made the declarations in his annual address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See — ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Efe news reported.
"We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses god's name in order to disseminate death in an attempt to affirm domination and power," the Pope said.
"I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in god's name," he added.
The pontiff said that religion was still being used as a tool for marginalisation and violence.
Pope Francis went on to list examples of nations spanning four continents that suffered at the hands of religiously motivated attacks in 2016.
The pontiff then turned to the subject of immigration policy, calling on leaders of the international community to carefully analyse their nation's capacity to house as many refugees and migrants as possible.
He added that the migrant crisis should not become a matter of figures and statistics, reminding the delegation that refugees were people with names, histories and families.
Those who do arrive in a foreign country seeking asylum, however, should respect the laws, culture and traditions, the Pope added.