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  • Pope Francis is in northern Iraq.

  • He's been visiting parts of the country once held by Islamic state militants.

  • It is the third day of his trip to the country, the first ever papal visit to Iraq.

  • Let's take you live to Erbil, where the pontiff is holding a holy mass in front of many thousands of people gather the France so Hariri Stadium, the number carefully controlled.

  • This stadium can house many tens of thousands, but it's been limited strictly to 10,000 people, all carefully, socially distancing and most wearing masks there.

  • The concern being that this could be a potential super spreader event, while Iraq's Christian community is one of the oldest in the world has been particularly devastated by the years of conflict there, falling to around 300,000 from around 1.5 million before the US invasion of 2000 and three.

  • Well earlier in the day, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims of war in the city of Mosul, where Islamic state militants declared their so called caliphate in 2000 and 14.

  • He then met Christians in an ancient church in Caracas, which was all but destroyed by militants our correspondent Mark Lowen is traveling with the pope.

  • Mhm.

  • Well, the scars of Islamic state brutality are clear here at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Calico sh just place riddled with bullet holes.

  • Stones were ripped away here as it was used for target practice by Islamic state militants when they control this of Iraq.

  • And yet ideas on the pope is now coming here to give Mass a potent symbol of rebirth, recovery and defiance.

  • Earlier in the day, he was in Mosul, the eye's stronghold in Iraq, where he offered a prayer for the victims of the war.

  • This is a day focused on paying homage to those who have suffered in Iraq's many conflicts, but also reaching out to the persecuted Christian community in this part of the country that were very numerous and have declined and have been forced to flee or killed by the Sunni extremists.

Pope Francis is in northern Iraq.

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Pope Francis prays among churches ruined by ISIS in Iraq - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/08
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