- May 8, 2021
Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq could help water a fertile ground for Catholic-Shi’a Islam dialogue.
As Pope Francis continues his efforts to encourage and personally engage in interreligious dialogue, his planned March trip to Iraq will be an opportunity to extend a hand to the Shiite Muslim community.
One of Nigeria’s leading prelates has warned that the president’s recent actions against the African nation’s small Shi’ite minority is a threat to religious freedom for all believers in the country.
So far Pope Francis and his Vatican team have been strikingly silent, at least in public, on the latest cycle of street protests and violence in Iran. By no means, however, should that suggest they’re not following the situation closely.
Alexis Moukarzel is a Lebanese architect. He said the different religious and ethnic communities in Lebanon might have their own agenda, but “most of them want Lebanon to be stabilized. If it was not like that you would have the spread of the Syrian civil war inside Lebanon.”
Popes generally use their Easter Urbi et Orbi address, “to the city and the world,” to pray for peace amid global conflicts. Francis followed that tradition on Sunday, among other things commenting on a tentative nuclear deal between the P5+1 nations, including the United States, and Iran. The pontiff said,