Pope Francis to Visit Iraq


In 2010, gunmen opened fire on the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Iraq. Now, a decade later, Pope Francis will visit this church and others on his first trip to Iraq, hoping to heal religious division (photo courtesy AP News).

Zack Knust, Staff Writer

Pope Francis is visiting Iraq for the first time. He has had some risky visits in the past, but additional security concerns and the ongoing pandemic makes this visit the Pope’s riskiest visit yet. Around 10,000 Iraqi Security Force personnel have been deployed to protect Pope Francis, while many curfews are also being enforced to limit the spread of COVID and protect the people.

The Pope’s purpose for traveling to Iraq was to help persecuted Christians, call for peace, and allow the open practice of many religions in Iraq. In 2010, an attack by jihadists on a Syriac Catholic church in Baghdad left over 50 Christians and police dead or injured. Pope Francis will visit the church, Our Lady of Salvation, on Friday as a memoriam to the Christians that died. This is a major event for all Iraqi Christians.

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