Beth Nahrein, or Mesopotamia, or Iraq, the Arabic name for Uruk, where the vibrant history of humankind began, as the rest of the Levant, has been drained of blood and people for more than two decades.
This country was Evangelized by Saint Adi, one of the seventy-two apostles, and his disciple Mâry, and the Christian faith that grew up there spread throughout the whole world.
To this wounded country, the cradle of Christianity, comes the visit of Pope Francis, the Pontiff of human brotherhood, at the most critical times in its modern history. This visit is a token of love and healing. It is a call to steadfastness in the face of obscurantism, violence and annihilation.
Pope Francis, in quoting His motto "We are all brothers", and through visits He made to other regions, and the standpoints He took in various situations, is the farthest away from religious bias. His Holiness visits all people of "Ur of the Chaldeans", as expressed by His Eminence Cardinal Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon on the Chaldeans and President of the Middle East Council of Churches on behalf of the Catholic family.
The visit of the Supreme Pontiff to Iraq will constitute an all-inclusive national and faith move long awaited for, as the meetings will include all constituents of Iraqi society. It is a moment of reconciliation between brothers in a society rich in resources, abundant in creation and innovation, after they had been alienated from each other by wars and global transformations. The visit of Pope Francis will undoubtedly constitute an alteration of relations between the components of a unified society drowned in the quicksand of international interests.
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) believes that this blessed visit is in harmony with its goals as an institution that has sought, since its inception half a century ago, to bring people as well as groups of various affiliations together.
May the Lord bless this visit and bless those who sought after it, organized it and who will accompany it so that it will bear fruit, because the Creator blesses all those who bring hearts closer and strive to spread love and establish a culture of peace.