Pope Francis has visited parts of northern Iraq that were once held by ISIS militants on the third day of his historic trip to the country.
He prayed for the people while standing in the midst of church ruins in Mosul.
“Today we raise our voices in prayer to almighty God for all the victims of war and armed conflict,” said Pope Francis.
“How cruel it is that this country, the cradle of civilisation, should have been afflicted by so barbarous a blow, with ancient places of worship destroyed and many thousands of people – Muslims, Christians, Yezidis and others – forcibly displaced or killed.”
The Iraqi Christian community has endured years of persecution and war, with Islamic State having occupied large swathes of Northern Iraq between 2014 and 2017.
The Pope’s trip marks the first ever papal visit to Iraq.
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