Pope condemns IS violence as ‘greatest blasphemy’ in historic ...

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Pope condemns IS violence as ‘greatest blasphemy’ in historic visit to Iraq

The pontiff said hope could not be silenced by those who pervert the name of God to pursue destruction

Philip Pullella

Muslim and Christian residents of Mosul in northern Iraq told Pope Francis of their lives under the brutal rule of Islamic State on Sunday, as the pontiff blessed their vow to rise up from ashes.

Francis, on a historic trip to the country, flew to Mosul by helicopter to encourage the binding of sectarian wounds and pray for the dead of any religion.

The 84-year-old walked past ruins of houses and churches to a square that was once the thriving centre of the old town. The city was occupied by Islamic State from 2014 to 2017...

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