SHAFAQNA- Pope Francis is planning to hold an inter-religious prayer service at the ancient Mesopotamian site of Ur during his March 5-8 trip to Iraq. The inter-religious prayer service will be attended by Christians, Muslims, Mandaean-Sabaean, Yazidi and other religious minorities present in Iraq. The focus will be on harmony between religious groups in a service the Vatican has named “Prayer for the sons and daughters of Abraham”.
Located about 300 km (200 miles) south of the capital Baghdad, the site comprises a pyramid-style Ziggurat and an adjacent residential complex as well as temples and palaces. It was excavated about 100 years ago by Leonard Woolley, a Briton who recovered treasures rivalling those found in Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt.
According to the State Board for Antiquities and Heritage Director for Ur, Ali Kadhim Ghanim, the complex next to the Ziggurat dates back to about 1900 BC. The father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Prophet Abraham (AS) lived in the city before God called upon him to create a new nation in a land he later learned was Canaan, Reuters reported.