During his visit to Iraq, Pope Francis has urged the Christian community of Iraq to start a new future and leave behind and forgive the atrocities committed by Muslim extremists. “The road to a full recovery may still be long, but I ask you, please, not to grow discouraged. What is needed is the ability to forgive, but also the courage not to give up”, the Pope said.
How cruel it is that this country, the cradle of civilization, should have been afflicted by so barbarous a blow,” Francis said, “with ancient places of worship destroyed and many thousands of people – Muslims, Christians, Yazidis — who were cruelly annihilated by terrorism and others forcibly displaced or killed.”
“Today, however, we reaffirm our conviction that fraternity is more durable than fratricide, that hope is more powerful than hatred, that peace more powerful than war”, the Pope added.