In pictures: Pope Francis visits Iraq

Pope Francis arrives to officiate mass with other priests at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad on Saturday, March 6.

Andrew Medichini/AP

Updated 12:13 PM ET, Sat March 6, 2021

Pope Francis arrives to officiate mass with other priests at the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Baghdad on Saturday, March 6.

Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis landed in Iraq on Friday for a historic tour of the war-ravaged nation, where he is meeting with members of the country’s dwindling Christian community and aiming to draw attention to their plight.

It’s the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, and it is Pope Francis’ first trip outside of Italy since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He and his entourage have all been vaccinated.

“This is a symbolic trip. It’s a duty,” the Pope told journalists traveling with him on the papal plane. “It has been a martyred land for too long.”

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