An Iraqi youth rides a bicycle past the Nuri mosque in the old town of  Mosul in March.  Photograph: Zaid al-Obeidi/AFP via Getty Images

Fr Olivier Poquillon, a Dominican friar, celebrated Mass recently for the first time in more than seven years at the Al-Saa’a church in Mosul. Iraq’s(...)

A hoarding of Pope Francis and leading Irai Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf ahead of the pope’s visit to Iraq. Photograph: Ali Najafi/AFP via Getty Images

This Sunday Pope Francis will walk through the ruins of old Mosul in northern Iraq to pray in the remains of a cluster of ancient churches used as a h(...)