Pope Francis left for Rome on Monday, ending his historic visit to Iraq. The purpose of this visit was to awaken hope among minority Christians in the country with a message of coexistence, forgiveness and peace. The Pope and his accompanying delegation bid farewell at Baghdad airport after a four-day visit to Iraq. The Pope visited five of the Iraqi provinces during his visit.
As the Pope’s plane flew, Iraqi President Barham Salih stood on the tarmac and shook his hand and said goodbye to him. Pope Francis, during his visit to Iraq, urged Iraqis to embrace diversity when they visit Najaf in the south of the country.
Pope Francis met Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a Shia cleric, in person. He also met and listened to terror-stricken Christians from the Islamic State group.
In southern Iraq, Francis called a meeting of Iraqi religious leaders in the desert near the Plains of Ur. Religious representatives from across the country attended. It included representatives of Muslims, Christians, etc. The Pope called them all to work together and to make peace.