Vatican urges visiting Iraqi president to protect Christians

On Jan. 25, the Vatican urged Iraqi President Barham Saleh to guarantee the safety of Christians and ensure they have a future place in the war-battered country.

Saleh met with Pope Francis, the Vatican secretary of state and foreign minister back-to-back on his second visit to the Vatican.

The Holy See said the meetings focused on promoting peace and security in Iraq, especially for Christian minorities, many of whom have fled communities dating from the time of Christ to escape persecution.

Saleh’s office said peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians was the only way to eradicate extremism.

The meeting came just a week after four aid workers for a French Christian charity disappeared in Baghdad. (AP)