The New Arab Special Coverage of Pope Francis’ Visit to Iraq
From 5 to 8 March, Pope Francis will visit Iraq, despite tough security conditions and a raging global pandemic.
It will be the first-ever papal visit to Mesopotamia and its historic significance becomes even more relevant at a time when the country faces renewed violence and a second wave of coronavirus cases that has led to curfews and a lockdown.
Pope Francis, 84, is due to arrive in the land of the two rivers on Friday. His three-day pilgrimage will take him to Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Ur, Erbil, Mosul and Qaraqosh. A gruelling schedule will see the Holy Father meet a number of religious figures of the Christian faith, among them Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad.
While the meaning of the pontiff’s visit for the Christian community in Iraq cannot be overstated, it also transcends the country’s geographic borders, reaching different religious communities in the Middle East.
Read below The New Arab’s special, on-the-ground coverage of this groundbreaking visit by the most prominent religious leader of the Christian world to the ancient cradle of human civilization.