[size=45]Hate speech is filling social media in Iraq following the Pope's visit 34 minutes ago
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Yazidi 24 - Jamil Gemayel
Iraqi pages from several provinces published news and pictures of the visit of Pope Francis, the Supreme Pontiff and head of the Catholic Church in the world, and on the sidelines of the publications the pages circulated were full of speeches of hatred, violence and incitement to this visit and to Christians as well.
More than 8,000 hate comments and posts led this visit, in contrast to the Pope's message, which included "Let the weapons be silent, and let religion be in the service of peace and brotherhood."
In his speech, which preceded prayers with representatives of Shiites, Sunnis, Yazidis, Sabeans, Kaka'is and Zoroastrians, the Pope said, "Hostility, extremism and violence do not come from a religious soul, but all this is a betrayal of religion."
"We, believers, cannot be silent when terrorism offends religion," he added. Rather, it is our duty to remove the misunderstanding, ”after nearly four years of defeating the“ Islamic State ”, which between 2014 and 2017 controlled large parts of Iraq and sowed terror and destruction.
The Pope also called for "freedom of conscience and religious freedom to be respected and recognized everywhere," adding, "These are fundamental rights, because they make man free to contemplate the sky for which he was created." Christians make up about 1 percent of the Iraqi population, and they say they face discrimination. The Pope launched a similar appeal in Morocco.
The Pope also urged to walk from "conflict to unity," calling for "peace for all the Middle East" and "especially in the tormented neighboring Syria."
On Friday, the Pope had mentioned in a speech to officials in Baghdad also Syria, where a popular uprising has turned into a war that has been going on for ten years and has claimed the lives of more than 387,000 people.