Iraqi Christians hope for miracle from Pope Francis’s visit

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Sofia Barbarani, Baghdad | Tom Kington, Rome
Wednesday March 03 2021, 12.01am GMT, The Times
Security is being tightened for the Pope’s visit, which begins in Baghdad
From the northern plains of Nineveh to Iraq’s southern cities, roads and homes are being decorated, church floors scrubbed squeaky clean and blast walls painted in bright hues to welcome the Pope on Friday.

Amid warnings that a papal visit is the last chance to save them, Iraq’s rapidly dwindling Christian community has worked hard to prepare for Francis’s arrival, hoping that he can end their persecution.

From about a million Christians in Iraq in 2003, only an estimated 250,000