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Editorial

The Pope’s Visit to Iraq is Useful

At first glance, the Pope's visit to Iraq did not make sense.

In addition, it was dangerous for him, due to the military situation as well as the fact that the coronavirus is galloping its way through the country.

But, above all, it did not seem to make sense because of the small number of Christians left in Iraq. Of the 1.5 million estimated before the 2002 U.S. invasion, only a few hundred thousand remain.

Similar things are happening throughout the Middle East. It is easy to remember, for example, the bombings, with many victims, in Coptic churches in Egypt.

In addition to bombings, many other means are used to force the people to flee.

And this, their departure, and the consequent reduction of the Christian population, directly affects the vital interests of the Greek Orthodox patriarchates in the region.

It is precisely for these reasons, however – the persecution of Christians in the places where Christ spent his life on Earth, the Holy Land and its Christian monuments – that makes the Pope's visit very useful.

His visit will spotlight the presence of these men, women and children. It will inspire them. It will encourage them. Authorities will be forced to offer them greater protection, not just in Iraq but throughout the region.

It will encourage others to embrace Christianity.

On another front, it appears that we have been blindly showing indifference in the face of the spreading of Islam. For years now, a river of Muslims has been flowing to Europe where over time, they have become a substantial percentage of the population.

France is a good example: President Macron was forced to take unprecedented police measures to stem the violent acts of individual Muslims against the population.

See also the percentage of Muslims in Germany, with its large Turkish population, as well as in the Nordic countries, not to mention Greece.

What is happening is a reverse kind of crusade, which will, intentionally or not, alter the religious character – and consequently the political character – of Europe.

A large percentage of Muslims believe in Allah. They organize, they fight, they die for him. See Erdogan's turn to Islam in Turkey.

In his name, they commit the most inhuman acts.

But I'm very afraid that Christian societies are going through a deep religious crisis.

In the West, people are seeking their Paradise on Earth. They think that the discrediting of religions, as well as their principles and values constitute progress. They are losing their connecting link with the past.

There is, however, hope.

Societies in the West are nearing their breaking points. They are looking for something to fill the voids in their lives. Unbounded selfishness. The miseries and disappointments of overconsumption.

Voids that can be filled by nothing better than Christ.

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