Pope Francis is heading to Sarajevo for a one-day visit to encourage the dwindling number of Catholics to stay and help forge a peaceful future with Bosnia's Muslims and Orthodox Christians following a devastating three-way war.

Some 100,000 people are expected to come from across the region to Sarajevo, a largely Muslim city of 300,000 that was once known as "Europe's Jerusalem" for its interfaith harmony among Christians, Muslims and Jews. It became synonymous with religious enmity during the 1992-95 conflict that left 100,000 dead and displaced half of the population.

Francis has said he is coming to Bosnia to support its post-war process of reconciliation, but to also encourage the tiny Catholic Croat community, which represents only about 15 percent of the population.