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On his last day of visit to Iraq, Pope Francis prayed for the devastated city of Mosul: 'This country can be rebuilt with peace'

2021-03-07T10:32:05.225Z

Among rubble and fallen walls, the pontiff said that "the tragic consequences of war and hostility are too evident."



03/07/2021 5:31 AM

  • Clarín.com

  • International

Updated 03/07/2021 5:32 AM

On his last day of visit to Iraq, Pope Francis prayed this Sunday for all the victims of the wars in the devastated Iraqi city of Mosul, a symbol of jihadist horror, from where he cried out that, beyond religious beliefs, they can live in harmony and peace.

In the square of Hosh al Bieaa, where four Christian churches stood before the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) devastated the city, Francis began his prayer: "If God is the God of life, and he is, to us It is not lawful for us to kill the brothers in their name. "

And, amidst rubble and half-collapsed walls, the pontiff continued: "If God is the God of peace, and he is, it is not lawful for us to wage war in his name. it is, it is not lawful for us to hate our brothers. "

Faced with the brutal destruction caused over the years, Francisco concluded by imploring God's forgiveness for everything that happened, while entrusting him with "the numerous victims of man's hatred against man."

"Only with peace and reconciliation can

this city and this country be rebuilt

, and it will be possible to heal hearts shattered by pain," he added.

Pope Francis in the devastated Iraqi city of Mosul, during his last day of visit to Iraq.

AFP photo.

In this regard, the pontiff, who was cheered several times, heard some testimonies of the atrocities committed in Mosul during the IS invasion, which caused the exodus of about 500,000 people, 120,000 of them Christians.

In that sense, he lamented "the tragic decline of Christians" in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, which he described as "incalculable damage, not only for the people and communities affected, but for the very society they leave behind."

In 2013 there were about 1.4 million Christians in the country and currently they range between 200,000 and 300,000.

Only 50 percent of those who fled during the jihadist invasion have returned to their homes in Iraq.

"Here in Mosul the tragic consequences of war and hostility are all too evident. It is cruel that this country, the cradle of Civilization, has been hit by such an inhuman storm, with ancient places of worship destroyed and thousands upon thousands of people , Muslims, Christians, Yazidis and others, forcibly evicted or assassinated, "he remarked.

The destruction in sight in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

AFP photo.

And from this place, which has become the symbol of the horror of terrorism, he exclaimed "that brotherhood is stronger than fratricide, hope is stronger than death and peace is stronger than war."

With information from EFE. 

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-03-07

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