Thursday, April 22

Pope Francis on Iraq visit calls for end to violence and extremism

But Pope Francis is defiant, telling me on the plane from Rome that he is “very happy” to be on a “special trip”. He clearly feels that this land, so central to Christianity, has waited too long for a papal visit, that its dwindling and long-terrorised Christian community needs to feel emboldened so as to remain here – and that there is no time to lose to bring a message of peace and hope to Iraq.

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