Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad

Greetings from Baghdad – Update from Canon Andrew White

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Baghdad. People are very fearful the nation looks as if it has collapsed. The usual hectic and crazy streets were this morning almost empty. The news from our friends in areas surrounding Baghdad is equally worrying, the Islamic State (ISIS or DAASH as they are known locally) are very close to Baghdad. We do not really know what is happening all we know is that people are very afraid. We know that civilians have been killed in air strikes; we know that there are huge battles with ISIS; and we know that our army is not very efficient.

This morning I was with one of my soldiers who is assigned by the government to protect me. I asked him what he would do if he saw ISIS coming. He told me he would take off his uniform and run. So I asked if he took seriously his role as a soldier to fight and protect his people, he assured me he did not. He told me he just did it because he needed the money.

Meanwhile yesterday at Church I spoke on the subject of why we must love Israel. I posted the following brief posting:

“Why We Must Love Israel. This was the title of my sermon today, quite an interesting title for a sermon in Iraq. The sermon was based on Romans Chapter 11, “do not boast over the root for the root supports you”. The sermon was well received as I have been working on the issue for so long. Because Abraham is so important to us here the issue of the Yehudi and us is taken very seriously. Despite being in Iraq I love the Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, and Iraqis and G-d loves them all too.”

I received a barrage of postings from people whether they hated Israel and saw them as anti-Palestinian or they were totally for Israel. What most people failed to understand was that loving Israel was far more than love for a State – it was love for a people. Love for a people that my Lord Jesus was part of and that our salvation came from. Though can we see that we are called to love Jews and Arabs alike but that loving Israel is not an option for those of us who love Yeshuah, we have to. We must not forget the history. We as Christians have got to accept that our theology was responsible for the development of Anti-Semitism. I spent hour’s yesterday just answering questions on this subject. I am not going to answer any more. I have just written a small book on the subject called ‘The Older and Younger Brother”. It can be purchased on our website, www.frrme.org at a cost of £5.

At 2.40 am this morning I had a call from one of the security chiefs at the US Embassy here in Baghdad. Congressman Trent Franks in DC, who was very concerned about my security situation, had contacted them. He in turn had been contacted by one of our US Board members. We were with the congressman just last week, he is a good friend. The issue that was so worrying to the Embassy was that I no longer even have a badge to get into the Green Zone. I have a badge to get into the US and British Embassies but I cannot even get to them without being able to get into the Green Zone. We were able to get in until all the Badges to the Green Zone were replaced 6 months ago. So the Embassy say they will work at getting us the badge today. I really pray that this will happen today.

Added to all these problems my hearing aids got lost when the cleaner was cleaning my room. Without these I can hear very little and my work becomes really difficult. I have managed to order new ones, which my staff who are coming to Israel with me next week can hopefully take with them. I just pray that G-d will help me find the £2700 I need to buy them. No insurance is covered in Iraq so we cannot claim for things lost or stolen here.

The latest news this morning appears to be that the further advance of ISIS towards Baghdad appears to have been halted. How far they are from here varies according to who is providing the information but they appear to be 5-15 miles away and in the last 12 hours have not got closer. So we live in hope. Sorry this update is longer than usual but rather a lot is happening. We seriously need your prayer.

Love to you all,

 Canon Andrew White
Canon Andrew White

12 thoughts on “Greetings from Baghdad – Update from Canon Andrew White

  1. You now admit that you dont know what’s happening.

    Yesterday the press led with YOUR story that IS are a mile from Baghdad, rather spreading panic.

    Today you say they are 5-15 miles away.

    How irresponsible. In WWII England you’d be arrested for undermining war effort!

    Bombing campaign HAS been successful according to people who actually do know about what’s going on. It’s been focused on Mosul Dam and towns near Erbil., because Kurds had no heavy armoured defence against tanks. Guess what? IS were driven back, Mosul Dam retaken and Peshmerga are regaining ground.

    The Iraqi army is demotivated, but other people are trying to change that. Evidently you are undermining these efforts.

    So why not focus on saying something positive to uplift your parishioners and people in Iraq instead of undermining war effort.

  2. i attend HTB church here in London. This morning I was in our 24-7 Prayer Room and especially prayed for you and the situation in Iraq. Be encouraged that many are upholding you in prayer around the world.

  3. Thank you so much for keeping us all updated on the situation – praying for you and your congregation (and indeed all in Iraq at this time!) May his grace, hope and glory be with you.

  4. Dear Canon Andrew – I once heard you speak at my church in SW London.

    I am very concerned for your safety in Iraq and the chaotic situation in the wider Middle East. What a mess!

    Surely it’s easy for a Christian to love the Jewish people? But, it’s almost impossible for them to love the Jewish state and its policies against the Palestinian people – a greater example of injustice over such a prolonged period must be difficult to find? And yet, when I march in London in support of Gaza I see plenty of Muslims, trade unionists, and (to me it appears) not enough Christians (Jews for Justice are represented!).

    Reconciliation in the Middle East will have a chance when Christians focus their efforts on the corridors of power in Washington and London. Until these powerful governments respect the rights of all citizens, whether Muslim, Christian, agnostic or atheist, and their right to security, education, health etc. then the emergence of groups like ISIS etc. will continue. The fuel of Islamic extremism is surely found as much in the imperialism of the US/UK foreign policies as it is anywhere else?

    With every respect…

    • Dear Andrew M.

      Your statement “Surely it’s easy for a Christian to love the Jewish people? But, it’s almost impossible for them to love the Jewish state and its policies against the Palestinian people – a greater example of injustice over such a prolonged period must be difficult to find? brings several thoughts to my mind.

      1) It is very easy for a Christian to Love the Jewish people, you are correct.

      2) It is impossible for them to love the Jewish State? Very Incorrect. Do you spend any time getting to know the facts or do you just get your news from national television broadcasts. I am a Christian and I LOVE the Jewish People and I LOVE the Jewish State. Let me give you one clue, if you attack me and my household, I am going to stop you from doing it again. Period. I promise you I will use overwhelming force to protect my loved ones, period.

      3) The government of the Palestinian people do not take care of their own people. That is by far a greater injustice than anything that Israel has done. The Billions and Billions of Dollars that has gone to that group and they did not make life better for their people, they built tunnels and arms to make war.

      Pull your head out of the sand. God the Father loves Israel. Not only the people but the State. You do not LOVE God if you do not love Israel. If you think any differently you are deceived.

  5. I am praying for you and all of you there every day and each night…and I often do so just as I think of you while I’m going about my day. I’m remembering about the 4 Ps but also pray as I feel moved…. I was in a tiny church in North Cornwall last week and I lit a candle and prayed there too – you are all in our hearts and so there is a part of us that never forgets you. Hope you get the new hearing aids ok and soon…….with love, Amy (from Oxford UK)

  6. We are praying daily for you and all those in the current centre of the crisis and are grateful for this update. May the Lord be to you all a strong tower.

  7. Out here in California, my husband and I are praying for you, for your safety, for hearing aids and the money to pay for them, for the trip to Israel next week, for the badge for entrance to the US Embassy and the British Embassy too. Thank you for your faithful work there, and may God bless you very much in the coming weeks, keeping you safe and giving you inner calm and peace, better than the world can give!!!

  8. Dear Canon Andrew,
    I have posted an update and link to Facebook stating your situation.
    Please continue with the updates.
    You are still in my prayers.
    Jesus look after you.
    Love for you in His name,
    Tom from England.

  9. Greetings dear brother white. I am writing a small note of encouragement and strength to share with you that you have family here in Tacoma Washington that is praying for you and your walk of faith in an environment where the enemy wishes to dissolve the very presence of peace and unity. I am urged to pray everyday for protection,Grace and favor be upon your shoulders and that the Angels continue to go before you and pave the way for more to come to know the King of love,peace, joy, strength, hope and everlasting protection. My church is on Tacoma Washington- we are called freedom River Outreach and we believe that we are many members of one body, therefor we are compelled to reach out to you and see how we can be a blessing to you and the ministry. I am honored to be able to speak with you and pray with you. much love from Tacoma Washington—-FREEDOM RIVER OUTREACH

  10. Greetings, brother Canon Andrew from Tacoma Wa- Freedom River outreach we are a small church with big faith. Faith in the King of all things possible and all things new. hey did you get your new hearing aids in Isreal? our father being the source and provider im confident its been taking care of. I know you get a million thank u for the work u do but thank u again. Also i got wind that ud be speaking on the four square church on lake shammish soon perhaps my mum and i will come pray with the family up north. I would love for u dear bruds to come to our healing service in november as i believe that ADONI has set up hut there and many will be healed- minus the unbelievers. I have a few soilders in the ministry that is profitable to my prayer life and with our faith combined with all of heaven this will be a day to celebrate the KIng for all healing and life much love until we meet keep doing the KIngs work.FREEDOM RIVER OUTREACH-TACOMA

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