· Vatican City ·

Pope Francis
visits Grand Ayatollah
Al-Sistani in Najaf

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12 March 2021

In Najaf on Saturday, 6 March, the Holy Father visited for some 45 minutes with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni Al-Sistani. Francis took the opportunity to stress the importance of cooperation and friendship between religious communities, and to thank Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani for speaking up — together with the Shiite community — in defence of those most vulnerable and persecuted amid the violence and great hardships of recent years, and for affirming the sacredness of human life and the importance of the unity of the Iraqi people. The Holy Father assured his continued prayers that God, the Creator of all, will grant a future of peace and fraternity for the beloved land of Iraq, for the Middle East and for the whole world.