Home > Asia > Amid Mosul church ruins, Pope laments ‘barbarous blow’ of extremism in Iraq | The Times of Israel

Amid Mosul church ruins, Pope laments ‘barbarous blow’ of extremism in Iraq | The Times of Israel

QARAQOSH, Iraq (AP) — Pope Francis made an emphatic appeal for peaceful coexistence in Iraq on Sunday as he prayed for the country’s war dead amid the ruins of four demolished churches in Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction in the war against the Islamic State group.

Francis traveled to northern Iraq on the final day of his historic visit to minister to the country’s dwindling number of Christians, who were forced to leave their homes en masse when IS militants overtook vast swaths of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014.

Few have returned in the years since IS was routed in 2017, and Francis came to Iraq to encourage them to stay and help rebuild the country and restore what he called its “intricately designed carpet” of faith and ethnic groups. For the Vatican, the continued presence of Christians in Iraq is vital to keeping alive faith communities that have existed here since the time of Christ.

Read more here: Amid Mosul church ruins, Pope laments ‘barbarous blow’ of extremism in Iraq | The Times of Israel

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