Iraq: Full of Historic Sites Important to Understanding Christianity

Pope Francis hopes to embark on the first-ever papal visit to the biblical land of Iraq in early March in a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts to the place known in Arabic as the “land of the two rivers” — the mighty Tigris and Euphrates — and once renowned as Mesopotamia, the “cradle of civilization.”

Ahead of Papal Visit, Iraq Closes Houses of Worship Due to COVID

Less than three weeks from Pope Francis’ highly anticipated trip to Iraq, the local government on Feb.14 announced new restrictions to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, which includes the closure of all houses of worship until the last day of his March 5-8 visit.

Iraqi Prelate Still Confident in Papal Visit Despite Recent Terrorism

Despite renewed security concerns after a series of recent terrorist attacks, one of Iraq’s top prelates has said preparations for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit are still underway, calling it a sign of hope that peace is possible in the war-torn nation.

In Japan, Pope Calls for End to Nuclear Weapons

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Pope Francis visited Japan Nov. 23-26 as a “pilgrim of peace. The pontiff visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki to deliver a message against nuclear weapons, calling them “immoral” and urging nations to get rid of them.

In Thailand, Pope Tells Religions to Work for Peace; Catholic Youth to Hold Firm to Faith

Speaking to people from 18 different religions on Nov. 22, Pope Francis said that the complex challenges of the world today – including globalization, the rapid advances of technology and the persistence of civil conflicts resulting in migration, refugees, famine and war – makes the need for cooperation between religions all the more pressing.