It’s a burning issue from Sweden and Denmark to Iraq and Pakistan. Two Koran-burning incidents by individuals in the two Scandinavian countries have ignited furious reactions in Iraq, Pakistan and much of the Muslim world, leaving Christian minorities there even more vulnerable to extremist hatred.

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Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid’s recent decision to revoke the official status of Patriarch Cardinal Louis Sako as the head of the Chaldean (Eastern-rite Catholic) Church of Iraq has left the country’s dwindling Christian community and the entire worldwide diaspora deeply hurt, said Bishop Robert Saeed Jarjis.

Published in Canada

Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Cardinal Louis Sako has left his patriarchal residence in the capital, Baghdad, relocating to a monastery in the northern Kurdistan region after the president of Iraq recently revoked a decree that formally recognized him as Chaldean patriarch in the country.

Published in International

ANKAWA, Iraq -- Nahla and Valentina like to stop and pray at Mar Elia Chaldean Catholic Church in the centre of this small majority Christian community. The grounds of the church once sheltered several hundred Christians who were forced to flee their homes in 2014 when Islamic State militants attacked Mosul and surrounding villages some 80 kilometres away.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis condemned a drone attack on the Iraqi prime minister's residence as a "vile act of terrorism" and expressed his hope that all people in the country would pursue peace through dialogue.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis expressed his condolences after a suicide bombing in a busy market in Baghdad claimed the lives of dozens of people.

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UR, Iraq -- Traveling to the birthplace of Abraham, Pope Francis urged believers to prove their faith in the one God and father of all by accepting one another as brothers and sisters.

Published in Faith

NASIRIYAH, Iraq -- In a low-key meeting followed closely in Iraq and beyond, Pope Francis and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the influential leader of Shiite Muslims in Iraq, spent 45 minutes speaking privately.

Published in Faith

While pundits in the West wonder whether Pope Francis really will brave out-of-control COVID-19 infections, shootings and bombings to visit Iraq, there’s not much doubt among Iraqis and others who know the Pope’s commitment to Christianity in the Middle East.

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It has been 15 months since Pope Francis made a pastoral trip outside Italy and that by itself makes his March 5-8 mission to Iraq newsworthy. But there’s much more at stake here than dipping his toe into foreign waters for apostolic purposes.

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VATICAN CITY -- Two days after the Iraqi government announced stringent COVID-19 precautions, including the closure of mosques and churches “until further notice,” the prime minister met with the Vatican nuncio to discuss preparations for the scheduled visit of Pope Francis.

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AMMAN, Jordan -- Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns, Pope Francis hopes to visit Iraq, an opportunity that eluded his predecessors.

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AMMAN, Jordan -- On his historic visit to Iraq in March, Pope Francis hopes to encourage his Christian flock, badly bruised by sectarian conflict and brutal Islamic State attacks, while building further bridges to Muslims by extending fraternal peace.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said that unless there is a serious new wave of COVID-19 infections in Iraq, he has every intention of visiting the country in early March.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- In the midst of three days of prayer and fasting for peace and an end to the coronavirus pandemic, Iraqi Cardinal Louis Sako, the Baghdad-based patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, said Iraqis still are counting on Pope Francis to visit in March.

Published in International