Pope Francis visits Iraq

ABC News’ Ian Pannell reports from Iraq on the pope’s historic visit, with high levels of security as he gives a message of peace to all Iraqis.
6:16 | 03/06/21

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Transcript for Pope Francis visits Iraq
Francis is on the ground in Iraq tonight the first pontiff ever to visit that war ravaged country should the Pope calling himself a pilgrim of peace for all the children of Abraham much but it's a high risk visit during a pandemic and with lingering closely in the country each ABC's senior foreign correspondent Ian panel reports from a rock. Tonight cook Francis in Iraq amid unprecedented security. Francisco doing his usual crew Nabil instead protected by a huge cordon of heavily armed troops. Iraqis ignoring orders not to line the streets instead coming out to cheer. That I goes up and we can't express our joy that all Iraqis are happy that not just Christians we hope we'll be it lasted for us and for all the Iraqi people who. But friends is personally insisted on making the visit to show of solidarity with the Iraqis ignoring warnings it's too risky. I come as a pilgrim of peace he said made the clash of arms be silenced. He was taken by armored come to the church where rice is suicide bomb was killed 48 worshippers in 2010. Join these three day trip he'll come here to the Christian town of carrot cost once belonged to rumble analysts is militant. Ice is murdered raped and pillaged across Iraq. Destroying lives and communities driving hundreds of thousands of Christians and using dues. From their homes. They desecrated ancient churches and like this one. You can see when they used it as a firing range destroying these ancient biblical tax calmed in Aramaic the language of Jesus. So until Francis comes here on Sunday his message of peace and co existence will be heard by Iraqis. But don't underestimate the challenge he's going to be immense. The pope's trip is a glimmer of hope through beleaguered community. After years of violence war room persecution. Volunteers came back to the shell shock cities of Mosul and Kara cost. I. Diligently prepping for the pope's arrival. But everywhere there of physical scars to reminded people here of the years of war and suffering they've been jeweled. We watched a boy and his father setting up gold suspensions for the pope's visit. This is what remains of the LT knew a church in Mosul Iraq's second largest city. Father Emmanuel Adele is sold priest left in Mosul his entire congregation will forced to flee for their lines where nice is to Cuba many have yet to return. Yet still he has who couldn't faith for the future. Local one and in the Chicago Bob we think the Pope for visiting Iraq and hopefully rockets back some of its culture. He's not here just to visit the questions of Iraq. He's coming to visit every once the father brings with him coexistence and brotherhood with all faiths he puts humanity before religion. With the but no here. Some message to Christians in the region and no longer alone the sectarian divisions can end. Bush it'll take mold the woods impressed to heal the pain and suffering of Iraq. And in panel joins me now in this is no doubt and historic visit what do we expect to see from the pope's agenda this weekend's. Yet us right juju truly historic something that the people of Iraq have a way to parades very long time so early tomorrow morning the Pope head south to the ancient city of believed to be the birthplace. Of the patriarch Abraham role in bring him seen as a patriarch Colson christianity and Judaism and of Islam be -- then heading to new jobs again another holy city here in Iraq but he's also home to grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani he is one of the most influential Shiite religious leaders in the world and just that idea of having the head of the Catholic Church together with the head. Or certainly one of the leaders of -- real Islam I think -- send a merry council's signal around this region he then on Sunday will go to Mosul Mosul of -- walls where Baghdad he declared that elevates Yvonne says he's gonna visit as some of those sentences at a crisis occupied including one of the main churches the Catholic Church in the center although much is being badly destroyed would be new enough filming these ancient churches a shadow of its former self it's where the ice his religious -- would based it's also where ice is declared that they were gonna go to Rome new guns occupied Rome will instead it's appropriate in Rome this coming on the pilgrimage to Mosul and then end up here in Nabil three shoot out dual mass later on Sunday evening heading home to Italy. Oh Monday. That's a lot of ground to cover in a region that you know and have reported on so Welsh and we of the Pope is getting a little slack today for not wearing a mask regularly. Yes I mean this could be a big issue before the Pope could even to content because of Coulson a pandemic is global uneasiness here in Iraq and the numbers of infections are going upwards again so the loss of questions should the time good together and cut come to Iraq in the middle of Basque isn't their risks that when he passed these outdoor mass winning these in churches of the people when crowds gather that then potentially super spreader events the Baskin said they'd taken all necessary safety precautions people will be socially distancing people will be wearing masks. And then this suddenly decide to the Pope not wearing masks that we do know that the Pope was vaccinated he's received both vaccines. Sort of bugs doses of the vaccine before this trip has has ever now Sony's claim the Vatican for its part feels that its act. Acting safely in accordance with guidelines let's see how the next few days go on especially here are Nabil when you've got thousands and thousands of people gathered idols are entirely outdoors here we sold today in the Friday markets thousands of people gathered cheap by cheek no social distancing. And on a mask insights GGP. And also their recommendations it even once you get vaccinated you should remain mouse thank you so much in stringer reporting from Iraq.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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