During his three-day visit to Iraq, the Pope has visited a number of historic places around the country, in what has been described as an attempt to embrace the cultural and religious diversity of one of the world's most ancient countries and grant the long suffering country a touch of healing and hope.
الفاتيكان يصدر ميداليه رسميه خاصه بمناسبة زيارة البابا التاريخيه الى العراق 🇮🇶 ..— ammar Almohammedawi (@ammar17186687) March 3, 2021
العراق بلد الانبياء والاولياء
زيارة البابا المرتقبة للعراق أعادة تذكير العالم بقيمة العراق التاريخية والدينية بعد أن حاول اعداءه طمسها pic.twitter.com/XKDYhJPzbd
Translation: "The Vatican has minted a special medal celebrating the Pope's historic visit to Iraq, land of prophets and good people."
Prior to the visit, the Vatican has minted a bronze medal celebrating the historic visit, which is meant to be gifted to Iraqi official representatives.
The medal features the Iraqi map, the country's two famous rivers; the Tigris and Euphrates, in addition to Abraham as he left the Mesopotamian city of Ur, which the Pope visited on Saturday.
While this is the first Papal visit to Iraq, the country that is still suffering the consequences of successive wars and political conflicts, the Pope's speeches have been focused on maintaining tolerance and honoring the cultural and religious diversity of Iraq, thus drawing the world's attention to the country's history and richness.
He made sure to throw and interfaith conference at Ur, one pf the oldest cities in the world where prophet Abraham is said to have stayed. He also met with top Shia Cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani and lead services in churches that were attacked by militant groups.
The religious, cultural and ethnic diversity in Iraq is "a precious resource on which to draw and not an obstacle to be eliminated", Pope Francis says, adding Iraq can be an example of this, especially for the rest of the Middle East #PopeInIraq pic.twitter.com/P4CdADxgZU— Chai Brady (@ChaiBradyIC) March 5, 2021
The Mesopotamian city of Ur in #Iraq is a #UNESCO #WorldHeritage site -- a city that connects humanity with our shared history.— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳😷 (@UNESCO) March 6, 2021
Today, @Pontifex chose this place to send a message of solidarity and peace. https://t.co/rr1VfiyYwF#PopeFrancisInIraq pic.twitter.com/gLubd7PUv6
Additionally, the visit has been perceived as a courageous one, especially amidst the security challenges in the country.
Built in 1859, Al-Tahera Church is an iconic symbol woven into the history of #Mosul.— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳😷 (@UNESCO) March 7, 2021
It is where @Pontifex prays for the victims of war.
We must never forget. Our heritage is more than stones, it is who we are.
Let’s #ReviveTheSpiritOfMosul.https://t.co/WyY0Fuy6xI pic.twitter.com/yTvBlTapmy
Over the last 20 years, Iraq has lost hundreds of thousands of its Christian population, many of whom have left due to either the 2003 US invasion of Iraq or the rise of ISIS and other extremist groups, which have attacked several churches over the years, resulting in threatening the cultural and religious diversity of the country.
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