"I'm happy to resume my travels." Those were Pope Francis' words to reporters before landing in Iraq, his first trip abroad since the Covid-19 pandemic. Francis, who has had his vaccine shots, is the first pontiff ever to visit the birthland of Abraham. The visit is fraught with sanitary issues, security concerns and a political hornet's nest, Iraq being a land where years of bloodshed have been fuelled by religious and sectarian rivalries. His first thoughts were for a Christian community that's dwindled from 1.2 million to 250,000 since the US-led invasion of 2003.