Pope Francis is on the ground in Baghdad making his historic first visit to Iraq.
Francis is the first Pontiff to visit the Middle Eastern nation often called the cradle of civilization.
Undeterred by recent rocket attacks the Pope still went forward with his visit.
As he set off, a little-known Shiite militia group, the Guardians of Blood Brigade, declared a unilateral, temporary ceasefire to stay in effect during the pope’s four-day visit.
He’s scheduled to meet with the President of Iraq, as well as Kurdish authorities and the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the highest authority of Shiite Muslims in Iraq.
HAPPENING NOW: Pope Francis arrives in Iraq https://t.co/jKWyyUGOim
— ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2021
As Pope Francis will meet with the dwindling Christian communities of Baghdad and other cities.
Iraqi Christians have been persecuted by terrorist groups over the past 20 years, from al-Qaeda to ISIS, causing many to flee to other countries.