/ 08 March 2021

Faith leaders call for unity

After months in the making, 2 of the world’s most influential faith leaders have met to promote peace and unity. Pope Francis (84yo) and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (90yo), a senior leader in Shia Islam, met in Iraq on Saturday and condemned extremism in the name of religion. On the agenda: the persecution of Iraqi Christians, including at the hands of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. In a statement following the meeting, Al-Sistani said Christian citizens should “live like all Iraqis in peace and security and with their full constitutional rights”. The meeting is said to be a landmark moment and could help ease relations between Shia Muslims and Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority. Pope Francis continues on his tour of the region, including a stop in Mosul, the northern former stronghold of IS.

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