Iraqi PM declares National Day of Coexistence

Iraqi PM declares National Day of Coexistence
1 min read
Iraq’s prime minister has declared March 6 a National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence in Iraq.
Iraq’s prime minister has declared March 6 a National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence. [Getty]

Editor's note: This article is part of our special coverage of Pope Francis' visit to Iraq. The rest of our coverage can be accessed on this regularly updated portal.

Iraq’s prime minister has declared March 6 a National Day of Tolerance and Coexistence in Iraq after Pope Francis’ meeting with Iraq’s top Shia cleric and a landmark inter-religious gathering.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has announced the declaration in a tweet, saying it was “in celebration” of the pontiff’s two events Saturday, which al-Kadhimi called “historic.”

The central message of Francis’ weekend visit to Iraq has been a call for the country to accept its diversity and ensure minorities equal rights. The pope hopes to ensure the place of Iraq’s Christian population, dwindling under years of violence and discrimination.

Francis met Saturday with Shia Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf and attended an inter-religious gathering in the Plains of Ur, traditional birthplace of Abraham, the patriarch revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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