Iraq welcomes Pope 2021 visit as ‘message of peace’

Published December 7, 2020, 8:15 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq in March will be a “historic event”, the government in Baghdad said after the Vatican announced Monday the pontiff’s first trip since the coronavirus pandemic.

Pope Francis
(Photo by STRINGER / various sources / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“It symbolises a message of peace to Iraq and the whole region,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

President Barham Saleh officially invited Pope Francis to visit Iraq in July 2019, hoping it would help the country “heal” after years of strife.

A few hundred thousand Christians are left in Iraq following sectarian warfare after the 2003 US-led invasion and the Islamic State group’s sweep through a third of the country in 2014.

 
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