Baghdad — Pope Francis arrived in the Iraqi capital on Friday and made his first visit to the Pope. The Pope’s decision to end his personal coronavirus blockade and leave Italy for the first time in more than a year on a visit to Iraq has proven to be both historic and controversial.
CBS News correspondent Chris Livesey, who traveled from Rome to Baghdad with the Pope, reported that Iraq is currently seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections and is concerned about the deterioration of the country’s security situation. There is.
The trip will be in 2000. For the first time in Christian history, the Pope set foot in the birthplace of Abraham in the Old Testament.
What happenedLast month, Francis said he would like to come to Iraq “as a pilgrim of peace” and visit one of the oldest and most plagued Christian communities on the planet.
Decades of war and terrorism have pushed Iraqi Christians to the limits of society, Archbishop Basharwalda of Erbil told CBS News.
“Two-thirds of Christians have left Iraq,” Walda said, noting recently that an ISIS terrorist group rampaged across a vast belt north of the country five years ago. “”Kidnap and kill bishops, priests, and Christians — because they are Christians. It’s a religious motive. “
The historic Christian town of Karakosh in northern Iraq was plundered by ISIS militants in 2014. Iraqi troops regained it two years later, and today Christian refugees are still back and rebuilding. They have been preparing for the Pope’s visit on Sunday.
“Despite many challenges and many who did not want him, Pope Francis insisted on coming here,” Christian Karakosh resident Nazia Dorma told CBS News.
There are two of these concerns. ISIS and other security threats have largely disappeared in Iraq. On Wednesday, 10 rockets crashed into an air force base used by the US military. An American contractor died of a heart attack during a heart attack. This was the latest in the face of increasing violence by Iran-backed militias and other terrorist groups.
But now an even more deadly threat in this country is the coronavirus pandemic. Iraq recently enrolls an average of 4,000 new cases daily. This is three times the number of infections seen in the past month.
In a country where hospitals have been devastated by decades of anxiety, there are facilities to deal with some fears that may be a series of ultra-widespread events hosted by Catholic Church leaders. Not in place. Pope Francis visits the Philippines 6 years ago Draws a record 6 million people In Manila.
But Christians from all over Iraq say the Pope’s visit sheds light on their plight.
“We are on the verge of extinction,” said Maesan Habib, a Christian woman living in the northern town of Batnaya. “If we remain as they are, the Christian family is banished, and the Christians are not protected, migration is the next step.”
Pope Francis will spend the rest of Friday’s meeting with the Prime Minister and President of Iraq, and he is expected to work on Iraq’s religious freedom.
Iraqi and Vatican officials claim that COVID-19 security measures will be rigorously implemented throughout the Pope’s four-day visit, stating that not only Francis but his entire aides were vaccinated against the disease. I will.
But that was not the case with the Iraqi herds that were expected to gather for his masses, speeches, and prayers.
Pope Francis arrives from COVID’s hideout for his first controversial visit to Iraq
Source link Pope Francis arrives from COVID’s hideout for his first controversial visit to Iraq