Rome Newsroom, Dec 18, 2020 / 08:00 am
Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda has said that Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the country could be a turning point for the country's diminished Christian population, who face ongoing challenges amid Iraq's unfolding economic crisis.
In an interview with CNA, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil said that Pope Francis' March 5-8 apostolic trip would be "historic." It will be the first papal trip to Iraq, a country where Christianity dates back to the first century.
"It has the potential to change the trajectory of the Christian presence in Iraq from one of a disappearing people to one of a surviving and thriving people," Warda said.
Since the Islamic State occupied parts of northern Iraq in 2014, the number of Christians living in the formerly occupied areas has declined from 102,000 to 36,000.