Pope Francis Begins A Visit Of Faith, Hope To Iraq Today
Manila Bulletin|March 5, 2021
Pope Francis begins today the first-ever papal visit to Iraq. It is described as an act of solidarity with an ancient Christian community in Iraq and an outreach to Muslims who dominate the nations of the Middle East.

The Pope will voice solidarity with this ancient Christian minority, now down to 400,000 from 1.5 million in 2003, in a nation of 25 million. Chaldeans and other Catholics make up half of Iraq’s Christians; the rest are Armenian Orthodox, Protestants, and other small churches.

In anticipation of the Pope’s visit, welcome banners featuring his image and with his Arabic title “Baba al-Vatican” have been hung in the streets of Baghdad. Churches and roads are being paved in remote areas that have never seen a visitor like Pope Francis.

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