Catholics who do not welcome refugees and others in need are hypocrites and are not true Christians, Pope Francis said on Thursday.
"Hypocrisy is the sin that Jesus most strongly condemns," Francis told a group of a thousand Lutheran pilgrims at the Vatican.
"It is hypocritical to call oneself Christian and to turn away a refugee or someone in need of help," the pontiff said.
Jesus teaches the meaning of a good Christian in the parable of the Good Samaritan, Francis noted.
"It is contradictory to seek to uphold Christianity in the West while being against other religions and against refugees," he stated.
The Pope's comments as Europe continues to face the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Over one million people sought shelter in Europe last year from conflict, poverty and persecution in the Middle East, Africa and Asia