Iraq’s struggling Christians hope for boost from pope visit

People fix a street destroyed during clashes against the Islamic State militants in Qaraqosh, Iraq, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Iraq’s Christians are hoping that a historic visit by Pope Francis in March will help boost their community’s struggle to survive. The country’s Christian population has been dwindling ever since the turmoil that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. And it was dealt a near death blow in 2014, when Islamic State group militants overran northern Iraq, site of Iraq’s historical Christian heartland.