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Pope Francis Visits Iraq

Pope Francis recently visited Iraq. The four-day papal stay was historic in nature as it represents the first time the leader of the Catholic Church has ever visited the country, which is predominantly Muslim. There were numerous security and safety concerns regarding the 84-year-old pontiffs visit. Some of these include the ongoing global pandemic, which has seen an increase in cases recently in Iraq. Other concerns included the safety and well being of Pope Francis in a country and region that has experienced so much violence and instability.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Pope Francis Visits Iraq"

Links

“Pope Francis visits regions of Iraq once held by Islamic State”
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-56309779

“Pope weighed Iraq virus risk but believes God will protect”
https://apnews.com/article/ali-al-sistani-coronavirus-pandemic-baghdad-pope-francis-iraq-a59ec54c27afe1a45dc84b9a38cd07ca

“‘Pope ends historic Iraq visit with messages for coexistence”
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/8/pope-ends-iraq-visit-after-mass-in-isil-ruined-city-of-mosul

“Pope Francis holds historic meeting with Shiite cleric in Iraq, visits birthplace of Abraham”
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pope-francis-holds-historic-meeting-shiite-cleric-iraq-visits-birthplace-n1259811

“Where ISIS ruled, Pope Francis calls on Christians to forgive, rebuild”
https://www.foxnews.com/world/pope-visits-iraqs-war-ravaged-north-on-last-day-of-tour

“Pope Francis Defends Pandemic Trip To Iraq, Says Lockdown In The Vatican Was Like ‘Prison’”
https://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthart/2021/03/08/pope-francis-defends-pandemic-trip-to-iraq-says-lockdown-in-the-vatican-was-like-prison/?sh=2796e7847a5b

“Benedict XVI: Pope’s Upcoming Iraq Trip is ‘Important’ but ‘Dangerous'”
https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/benedict-xvi-popes-upcoming-iraq-trip-important-dangerous

“Why the Pope’s visit to Iraq is of symbolic importance”
https://www.jpost.com/opinion/why-the-popes-visit-to-iraq-is-of-symbolic-importance-661246

Assessment

  • Writing: Why did Pope Francis travel to Iraq? What will be the lasting impact of his visit?
  • Debate: Should the U.S. and the international community do more to protect religious minorities in countries where they are persecuted because of their faith?
  • Poll: Should Pope Francis have traveled to Iraq right now considering the health and safety concerns?
  • Short Answer: What are some of the challenges facing Iraq’s Christian population?

Current events quiz:

1) All the following are true concerning the goals Pope Francis wanted to accomplish in Iraq EXCEPT:

a. Provide solidarity to the Christian population.
b. Shed light on the lack of rights for Christians.
c. Reestablish the Islamic State.
d. Achieve peace between Muslims and Christians.

2) Which of the following is a reason why Christians have been targeted within Iraq?

a. Their language
b. Their faith
c. Their race
d. Their socioeconomic status

3) Which of the following is FALSE concerning Iraqi Christians?

a. They were targeted by the Islamic State.
b. They represent less than 1% of the population.
c. They have experienced a decrease in persecution since 2003.
d. They represent a religious minority.

4) The Pope recently traveled to Iraq because of its growing Christian population. (T/F)

5) Iraq has experienced violence and instability over the last several years and thus there was concern about the Popes safety. (T/F)

6) Iraq is a predominately Muslim country with a small Christian population. (T/F)

Answers:

1) C

2) B

3) C

4) False

5) True

6) True

 

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Featured Image Credit: Ruwaym / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PjqBi6tS_Y

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