Pope Francis recently announced he would visit Iraq for the first time in early March, 2021. He is scheduled to visit Baghdad, the southern city of Ur and the Christian heartland of Nineveh province.
Iraq’s Christian community has witnessed years of conflict and targeted attacks, forcing many to flee. From 1.4 million three decades ago, its population has come down to an estimated less than 400,000.
Days before Christmas, the Muslim-majority country’s parliament announced that Christmas will now be an annual national holiday.
The Pope’s announcement has sprung hope in Karemlash, a predominantly Christian town on the Nineveh Plains about 18 miles southeast of Mosul and which was once held by the Islamic State terror group.
“We hope this visit can prevent demographic change, preserve the identity of our region, and prompt the government to seriously start rebuilding our areas,” St. Adday’s priest, Fr. Thabet al-Mekko, said, according to AFP. “We’ve started the countdown. We need to feel closer to the Christian community in the rest of the world.”
Responding to the pope’s announcement, Zuhair Mansour, a 50-year-old school principal in Karemlash, said, “It could be the step in building peace in this wounded country.” Martin Banni, the priest at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Baghdad, called the pope’s decision “a great, wonderful Christmas gift.”
Pope Francis, who has previously called for a “one-world government” to “save humanity”, signed in 2019 a historic covenant with leaders of the world’s major faiths, pushing us much closer to a one-world religion.
Is this proposed visit by Pope Francis to Iraq in March 2021 one step closer to the biblical “end times” one world religion? Could he be the false prophet? If he is we know his end.
“And the beast (Antichrist) was captured and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.” Revelation 19:20