Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq was the first of its kind in papal history. The remaining Christians in Iraq long anticipated his visit, including to an Assyrian city just 23 miles (37 kilometers) east of Mosul.
Western media rightly praised Pope Francis’ historic trip to Iraq for opening new doors in Christian-Muslim relations. But they misunderstood Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani’s views on religion and politics.
Hopefully, Pope Francis’ trip to visit the Christians in Iraq will not only lift their spirits but also inspire change so that they can stay and prosper in their ancient homeland, which would benefit all of Iraq.
As the United States continues its political transition, many in the human rights advocacy community anxiously await tangible signs, beyond rhetoric, that the cause of international religious freedom will remain a policy priority for the Biden administration.
The brutalities endured by Burma’s Rohingya—the country’s most vulnerable population—were bad even before the recent coup. The US response must take their plight into account, or risk making it even worse.