Priest in Bagdhad – ‘People are so scared’


Andrew White, Anglican priest in Bagdhad

Greetings from Baghdad.

The new slaughter of the Christians here in Iraq continues in the last hour there have been 12 attacks on Christian homes in Baghdad. All are at risk, there is nothing we can do to guarantee safety. We can though pray and from tomorrow we are starting three days of fasting.

People are so very frightened. Frightened for their lives. Last week’s massacre is still being felt and there is no sense of security whatsoever. Their future is uncertain.

Many simply just want to flee. They can’t see how any sort of future is possible in Baghdad. Some do want to remain but a dwindling number.

In the last few weeks many have left St. George’s Church – perhaps up to 500 people. A large proportion of these have gone to Syria, where there is an Anglican church, and have expected support such as we give.

We have tried to make clear to them we cannot continue to support them once they have moved on. I have also had to explain to the priest in Syria that we cannot support his church via the Foundation. I have sent him a one off donation as a gift, but that’s all we can afford.

Some very serious prayer requests:

1. Security. There are threats from Al Qaida to attack and kill more Christians – myself in particular. So please pray for our protection.

2. For the immense fear of the christians. All are so afraid; they need a sense of divine protection, their fear removed and for the angels of our Lord to protect them.

Yesterday I spoke on Romans 8:18ff:

“Present Suffering and Future Glory. I consider that our present  sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

The question from the young people on Friday was simply, “Why has all
this happened to us, why has God not stopped it?” There are not simple answers to these questions but this passage on suffering and glory is the nearest thing we have to an answer. We really do suffer with Christ and we really do see his glory. He will sustain us and help us through any difficulties because we know that “that the Lord as here and His Spirit is with us”.

On Sunday afternoon we have our major service of the week. We did not even know if people would turn up after the threats to attack  Christians again in Church. People did come. We were about 200 down  but at least 300 were present. I preached on the above passage and then listened to what the people had to say.

We heard stories of what had happened last week. The resounding  message was that people would not be threatened or scared by what had been said to them because Jesus was still with them. They were not happy with those who said that Iraqi Christians should leave Iraq, nor the French government for offering asylum for 150 families.

So despite the terrible things that have happened there will be some who will not leave – and we do not want them to. As I said to them again today even though I do not have to be here and despite knowing
the danger, I will not leave.

These are our biggest needs at this time. Your prayer would be much appreciated.

Andrew White eis Anglican priest of  St. George’s Church in Bagdad and leader af the organisation The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. His biography could be found here. (Source of this text, HERE.)

* * *

I have published this text in its entirety,  at the request of my friend Gabriel Borlean, because, being published on a Danish site, there is little chance many people will see it.

Please pray for the persecuted Christians in Iraq and the Middle East.  May are scared and plan to leave. If this exodus continues, in 20 years we may not have any Christians in the whole region. May God have mercy!

 

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

3 thoughts on “Priest in Bagdhad – ‘People are so scared’”

  1. wow, thank You Lord for Godly examples of faith and courage, such as Andrew White and the Iraqi Christians.
    Gabriel, we really needed to see this in light of all the commentary this past week on the RM site.
    These are the kinds of examples to be held up and emulated.

    Like

  2. I have student from Iraq…She is a bit scared too.
    Below is a message from a former student who is ministering in Iraq. His name was removed from the message.
    We should continue to pray for our brothers in Iraq because many are leaving the Middle East (who can blame them?)!

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, that how I would like to start sharing with you how we are doing in Iraq/ Baghdad.
    Actually we are not doing very well these days, as you know the extremists attacked one of the Catholic Church last week which is three blocks far from my church, and they killed more 50 people and so many injured people. what happened created among Christians frustration and fear. if you have a look at the pictures and hearts ear the stories of those who were in there you cannot hold your tears and even your feelings. the situation was so hard even beyond our imagination. all I can say we are truly living the book Acts. we are seeing with our hearts, minds, and eyes what dose it mean to be Christian. the Christians stayed at their homes after that, as long as they cannot protect their families from the hand of terrorists in the churches, however today the extremists killed many Christians in their houses by using guns and explosive things. that made the situation more hard and worse.
    I do not want to say we are doing great, and we have great faith during this time. I am personally so concerned about my church, my people, and my family. at the same Sunday when they attacked the Catholic Church the Iraqi Police came to my church at the middle of our service and talked to me. the police guy told me “please stop the service and let your people go home NOW NOW, we are not able to protect you if anything happens so just run”. I was in a situation that could not imagine for a while, and could imagine my church people would be hostages or murdered, however that what the Lord said to all of us in john 16 “All this I told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue, in fact atom is coming when anon who kills you will think he is offering a service to God”
    I am reading the Bible now in a different way that I never read it before, in a way when I could imagine all what the Lord said I might go through, and all what happened in early church could my church also go through. Now I can understand more Paul when he said “And now, compelled by the Holy Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. however I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- that task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s Grace” now I could feel what Paul said and what was his heart and emotions.
    brothers and sisters, “Christianity without suffering is tasteless”, we believe God has something very special to our churches in Iraq. we do not know yet, but it could be unity among the churches, let the whole world know what is going on among in Islamic countries, revival among the catholic church and even the evangelical church in Iraq and the whole world
    as I am writing this e-mail to you, I got a message on my phone I would like to share it with you ” dear …… please be carful because today they killed many Christians and they put under their cars explosive things so watch and search your car carefully before every time you drive it. also I heard they are collecting information about Christians in our areas, and even they are spying on our phones, take care” that just to make the picture more clear to you and to know how to pray for us.
    please keep us in your prayers, ask the Lord to let us speak always about him and his love. and being faithful to him in our faith, action, word, and prayer. He is so good, and I love Him and His kingdom so much. please pray for me so I can say and Live what Paul says ” I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Jesus has given me- that task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s Grace”

    thank you so much, and let us always remember and believe God is good all the time

    God bless you

    Like

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