WelCom March 2021
Pope Francis will be the first pope ever to visit Iraq when he arrives in Baghdad on March 5. He will be welcomed at the Presidential Palace, and later meet Christian and religious leaders from all faiths. He will visit Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the influential leader of Iraq’s Shiite Muslims, in Najaf and attend an interreligious meeting in Ur. The Pope’s visit will include stops in the capital Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Erbil, Mosul and the Christian-dominated city of Qaraqosh, before he departs March 8. President Barham Saleh had officially invited Pope Francis to visit Iraq in July 2019, hoping it would help the country ‘heal’ after years of strife.