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.)
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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!