19:50 GMT19 April 2021
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    Pope Francis left Rome on Friday morning for a historic apostolic trip to Iraq, becoming the first-ever pontiff to visit the purported homeland of Abraham.

    Pope Francis holds a mass at Erbil's Franso Hariri stadium following a visit to Mosul, where he recited prayers at Hosh al-Bieaa for the comfort of the souls of war victims and visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Qaraqosh.

    Ahead of the visit, the pope said that he would come to the country as a messenger of peace to pray for reconciliation after years of war and terrorism have plagued Iraq.

    The head of the Roman Catholic church arrived in Iraq on Friday for a historic four-day visit, becoming the first-ever pontiff to visit what is considered the homeland of Abraham.

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