The Pope’s first visit ever to Iraq was celebrated by the country’s Shiite prime minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. Furthermore, after the Pope met with Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on March 6, this date was declared to be a national day of tolerance and co-existence. This historic visit recognizes the role of the Shiites in protecting the Christians of Iraq, who suffered greatly during the short and brutal reign of the Sunni terrorist horde known as ISIS. After the meeting, al-Sistani “affirmed his concern that Christian citizens should live like all Iraqis in peace and security, and with full constitutional rights.”
While visiting the city of Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, Pope Francis said that “from this place, where faith was born, from the land of our father Abraham, let us affirm that God is merciful, and that the greatest blasphemy is to profane his name by hating our brothers and sisters … hostility, extremism and violence are not born of a religious heart: they are betrayals of religion.”
This historic celebration of “peace and tolerance” took place even as...
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