Pope Francis begins historic visit to Iraq
The four-day trip, says the Vatican, aims at reassuring Iraq's Christian community and promoting inter-religious dialogue.
Pope Francis flies to Iraq on Friday for the first ever papal visit to the country. This is also the Pope’s first international trip since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The four-day trip, as the Vatican has underlined, aims at reassuring Iraq's Christian community and promoting inter-religious dialogue.
The Pope will meet Iraq's most revered Shia Muslim cleric, say a prayer in Mosul and celebrate Mass at a stadium.
Pope Francis has insisted on travelling despite an increase of Covid-19 infections in Iraq and concerns over his security.
About 10,000 Iraqi Security Forces personnel are to be deployed to protect the Pope, while round-the-clock curfews are to be imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus