Pope’s historical visit to Iraq and The Raven

Ali Muradov
3 min readMar 25, 2021


Pope Francis, who has never been abroad for 15 months due to the pandemic, visited Iraq for the first time in history, where the security problem has continued since the American invasion. After this visit, which requires courage, one thinks of course.

In a study conducted by St Mary’s University, while the rate of “non-members of a religion” is increasing day by day across Europe, this number has risen to over 50 per cent in 13 countries on the continent. Having lost “followers” in Europe, Catholics turned their eyes to poorer countries with high birth rates. The Vatican continues its activities in Africa, which it attaches most importance to and has determined as “the fastest-growing continental religious segment”. On the other hand, the Christian population almost melted in Iraq after the American occupation and in Syria after the civil war. According to the news in the Independent, while the Christian population in Syria decreased from 2.2 million to 744 thousand, this number in Iraq decreased from 1.5 million to 200 thousand.

But not all statistics here are about the period when ISIS emerged. One of the biggest reflections of the American occupation in Iraq was the separation of sect and religion. The Pope, who has lost blood in “motherland”, is trying to increase his power and followers with other regions. At the same time, he wants to give morale to his coreligionists in the region where such rapid Christian disappearance.

During the visit, those famous doves of peace were also released. When I see this scene, that incident in 2014 comes to my mind. The Pope had released the pigeons wishing peace in Ukraine, but the crows attacked the pigeons and ate them. In fact, this ironic incident summed up everything.

The stamp was given to the Pope and the detail of the visit …

Unlike conspiracy theorists, let’s interpret the Pope’s visit only from the points of visit, as usual, on the timeline.

No Pope had ever visited Iraq before. In the 90s, the Pope of the time wanted to visit Iraq, but Saddam did not give his permission. The Pope, who went to Iraq to boost the morale of the Christian minority in the dwindling Middle East, visited a Gulf country for the first time two years ago. During his visit to the UAE, he met with Azhar Sheikh Ahmet et-Tayyib, who had the discourse of “interfaith dialogue”, defended Sisi, and took the role of “religious leader of Sunnis in his own way”. Now he met with the “leader of the Iraqi Shiites” Sistani. When he went to Mosul, the second-largest province in the country where Sunnis live most, he did not meet with any Sunni leaders.

Sistani is the name that ordered the establishment of Hashd al-Shaabi, including YBSH (PKK), in post-ISIS Iraq. But Sistani is also the “regional rival” of Iran’s Shia religious leader Khamenei. There are differences of opinion from time to time and there is another Shiite leader Sadr, who is a completely different issue.

When we look at the Pope’s Muslim leaders belonging to different religions or sects it can be observed that most of the names and Turkey against Iran. When it is withdrawn and watched remotely; In the medium and long term, a fiction of an understanding of Islam that is close to the American motivation stands out. (This does not mean that Sistani is under American control, it means that the Shiite monopoly is not wanted to be left to Iran.)

Stamp: Papa, where he also went to Erbil and Kurdistan map ‘as described by Turkey’s eastern coastal city of Sivas and was a flake gift that takes place in the map of the region up to Hatay. The people or organizations that gave their own messages with these maps included cities such as Kirkuk after ISIS on their maps.