After ISIS was defeated, many Christians in the country's north have been unwilling or unable to return to their liberated towns on the Nineveh Plain or in Mosul. They still have serious security concerns, Maenza explained.
A number of militia units of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), as well as the country's security forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga, and Christian militias, are all active in the region, she said, yet many of their members do not hail from the local towns they occupy.
Maenza compared the situation to the "Wild West," where any citizen traveling through the security checkpoints is subjected to a shakedown. Thus, many Christians who fled ISIS but who remain in Iraq have not yet returned to their homes because they don't feel safe with the presence of the militias and security forces.
Christians need to be reminded that they are a part of Iraq's future-which will hopefully be a fruit of Pope Francis' trip, she said. "Diversity is a good thing," Maenza said of the Sunni and Shia Muslims and the number of ethno-religious minorities that make up Iraq's population.
Pope Francis on Friday used the metaphor of a complex carpet to describe the different Christian churches in the country.
"The different Churches present in Iraq, each with its age-old historical, liturgical and spiritual patrimony, are like so many individual coloured threads that, woven together, make up a single beautiful carpet, one that displays not only our fraternity but points also to its source," the pope said.
"For God himself is the artist who imagined this carpet, patiently wove it and carefully mends it, desiring us ever to remain closely knit as his sons and daughters."
Pope Francis will also meet with leading Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during his trip.
The meeting is significant, Maenza explained, and hoped that the pope could successfully push for Shiite militias on the Nineveh plain to stand off so that local Christians can safely return to their homes and live peacefully.
"That kind of conversation is a good thing," she said.