Pope Francis visited Kurdistan Region

From 5 to 8 March 2021 pope Francis visited Iraq. On Sunday, March 7, he arrived to Kurdistan Region. Pope was welcomed in the morning at Erbil International Airport by the highest KRG authorities. 

During the welcoming ceremony, important words were said both from the President of the Kurdistan Region and the Pope. President Nechirvan Barzani said: “We fully believe in religious freedom and a multi-faith society. Tolerance, coexistence, mutual respect among communities are the pillars of Kurdistan’s identity and culture. We intend to preserve this culture. We are always for peace and dialogue. We reject terror and extremism”. In a context of Christians president Barzani said that they are : “ancient and main community of Kurdistan, who have peacefully contributed to the foundation, development and preserving the country in great ways. We have spared no efforts to protect them”.

Pope Francis thanked for warm welcoming. He emphasized that he wanted to visit Kurdistan for a ling time. Pope also said: “I am here to pray for you, for the Christians, and for all of humanity. The enemy came to destroy this country, but you managed to serve the country genuinely, and hosted the refugees and other groups of people […] you defeated the enemy and reconstructed your country […] Thank you for everything that you do for all the faiths and communities. Freedom is in place in Kurdistan”. 

On Sunday afternoon Pope celebrated the biggest holly mass during visit in Iraq. 10,000 people prayed together at Franso Hariri stadium in Erbil.

The pilgrimage had wide coverage in the world media, including Polish, which sent correspondents reporting live the visit.