External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the Regina Coeli prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

(reuters_tickers)

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis called attention on Sunday to the plight of people affected by war and conflict in the Middle East as U.S.-backed forces close in on Islamic State militants in Iraq.

"So many innocent people are being sorely tested, be they Christian, or Muslim, or from minority groups like the Yazidi, who are suffering tragic violence and discrimination," Francis said after his regular Sunday address in the Vatican.

"I encourage the different communities to follow the path of dialogue and friendship, to build a future of respect, security and peace, far from any sort of war."

The battle for Mosul, the densely populated northern Iraqi city that Islamic State made its de facto capital, was approaching an end on Sunday after seven months of gruelling combat.

Many Yazidis, whose beliefs combine elements of several Middle Eastern religions, were persecuted and held in Mosul by Islamic State, which considered them devil-worshippers.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by David Goodman)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

swissinfo EN

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Join us on Facebook!

Reuters