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The Pope to visit Iraqi regions, which were occupied by ISIS

7-03-2021, 14:21 World
The Pope to visit Iraqi regions, which were occupied by ISIS


7 March 2021, 14:21 - NovostiNK
On the third day of his historic trip to the country, Pope Francis the First will visit parts of northern Iraq that have been captured by Islamic State militants in the past, the BBC reported.

In 2014, gunmen took over the entire region, destroying and looting historic churches. Christians have been returning there since IS was defeated in 2017.

The Pope will also celebrate Mass at the football stadium in Erbil, where up to 10,000 spectators are expected.

There are fears that Mass could lead to an even greater spread of the coronavirus.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Iraq has skyrocketed over the past month, and along with safety concerns during the pontiff's visit, this is one of his most risky trips.

The 84-year-old Catholic leader and those around him are already vaccinated against the coronavirus, but Iraq received its first batch of doses just last week.

The four-day trip, which began on Friday, is the pontiff's first international travel since the outbreak of the pandemic more than a year ago, as well as the first-ever papal visit to the country.

Some Sia militant groups reportedly opposed the visit, suggesting that the tour amounted to Western meddling in the country's affairs.



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