- Mar 6, 2021
Iraq’s Christian communities were dealt a severe blow when they were scattered by the IS onslaught in 2014, further shrinking the country’s already dwindling Christian population. Many hope their struggle to endure will get a boost from a historic visit by Pope Francis planned in March.
A priest from Qaraqosh helping to prepare the city’s youth for Pope Francis’s visit next month has said the fact that a pope is coming has shown young people that the Church, which can often seem far away, is close to them.
Despite widespread speculation that Pope Francis and top Shi’a cleric Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani will sign a document on human fraternity during their meeting in Iraq next month, an Iraqi state official has said the rumors are false.
The largest Syriac Catholic congregation in the world is preparing physically and spiritually for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Qaraqosh, Iraq.
On Monday the Vatican released a busy itinerary for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Iraq, the publication of which coincided with a flare-up of protests throughout the country with demonstrators calling for political reform.
Pope Francis said his upcoming trip to Iraq would be an important sign of his concern for the region’s Christians, but also an important opportunity to build fraternity through interreligious dialogue.
One Iraqi priest has voiced hope that if Pope Francis’s scheduled visit to Iraq next month takes place as expected, the trip would encourage the country’s persecuted Christian minority and help restore trust with the Muslim community.
Iraq’s Ministry of Health and Environment issued a statement Friday warning of a possible second wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which they said could be even deadlier than the first.