On the last day of his historic visit to Iraq, Pope Francis arrived today, Sunday, to Mosul, where he held a mass, and presided over a prayer for the souls of the war victims in front of an ancient, destroyed church in the city center.
The mass was held in “Housh Al-Baya”, a square in the middle of 4 churches in the Old Mosul area.
During the Mass, Pope Francis called for peace and the rejection of violence and hatred. He also called on Iraqi Christians to return to the city of Mosul and play their “vital” role, while noting that the decline in their numbers in Iraq is “unfortunate.”
This is the first visit of a senior figure to Mosul, which was a stronghold of the “ISIS” organization, which declared the “caliphate” there in 2014.
This station of the visit bears great importance, especially since Nineveh Governorate, and its capital, Mosul, is a center for followers of the Christian faith in Iraq, and its ancient churches and monasteries have suffered great damage at the hands of the extremist organization.