Pope Francis Landed In Baghdad, Defying Security And Pandemic Fears.

Pope Francis landed in Baghdad on Friday, defying security and pandemic fears, saying he felt duty-bound to visit because Iraq had suffered so much for so long.

The 84-year-old, who described himself as a “pilgrim of peace,” will also reach out to Shiite Muslims when he meets Iraq’s top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

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The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics left Rome early on Friday for the four-day trip, his first abroad since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m happy to resume travel and this symbolic trip is also a duty to a land that has been martyred for years,” he told journalists aboard his plane.

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