Pope Francis to meet Iraqi Shiite leader Ali al-Sistani on first ever Papal trip to Iraq



The trip is aimed primarily at encouraging the country’s beleaguered Christians, who faced decades of discrimination by the Muslim majority before being targeted relentlessly by Islamic State militants starting in 2014. But the first visit by a pope to Iraq also has a strong interfaith component. UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2021 07:21 PM IST Iraq’s top Catholic official said Thursday that a deadly suicide bombing in Baghdad hasn’t thwarted Pope Francis’ plans to visit, and he confirmed the pontiff would meet with the country’s top Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, in a significant highlight of the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Louis...

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