Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT) March 08, 2021
Pope Francis landed in Iraq on Friday for a historic tour of the war-ravaged nation, where he met with members of the country's dwindling Christian community and aimed to draw attention to their plight.
It was the first-ever papal visit to Iraq, and it was Pope Francis' first trip outside Italy since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He and his entourage have all been vaccinated.
"This is a symbolic trip. It's a duty," the Pope told journalists traveling with him on the papal plane. "It has been a martyred land for too long."