Pope Francis in Iraq: ‘We cannot be silent when terrorism abuses religion’

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  • Guardian News published this video item, entitled “Pope Francis in Iraq: ‘We cannot be silent when terrorism abuses religion'” – below is their description.

    Pope Francis urged Iraq’s Muslim and Christian religious leaders to put aside animosities and work together for peace and unity during an interfaith meeting on Saturday in the traditional birthplace of the Prophet Abraham, the patriarch of both faiths. The Pope travelled to the ruins of Ur in southern Iraq to reinforce his message of tolerance and fraternity during the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, a country riven by religious and ethnic divisions.

    Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sistani call for unity at Iraq meeting

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    In This Story: Iraq

    Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

    Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

    Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.

    Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.

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