Back in the UK – briefly

So we return to the sanity of the UK whilst the mayhem of the Middle East continues. The suffering of Egypt can barely be described. What’s more there have been countless attacks against many of the Egyptian churches, including the Anglican churches. Please pray for the many people who are suffering in this terrible trauma. Many have been murdered, maimed and tortured. Meanwhile the tragedies of Syria and Iraq continue, but these continuing massacres are sidelined by the horrific news from Egypt.

On returning to England I had great news. Josiah had his A/S Level results and got 4 A’s, he could not have done better. Today was his 17th Birthday and Caroline and I have so much to be thankful for. I can honestly say that there is absolutely nothing I would want to change about him. He never argues with us, disobeys us or does anything wrong. From the day he was born 17 years ago he has simply been a great gift of G-d and for that I will never cease to give thanks.

The other good news was that I’m to be awarded next years’ International William Wilberforce award to be presented in DC, which is given for statesmanship and spiritual leadership at an international level. It is a real honour not least because I am a great admirer of his. He was one of the leaders of the Clapham Sect. He had great influence as British Parliamentarian and spiritual leader from Clapham. Also of great importance to me was the fact that I was nominated for award by Dr Ryken, the President of Wheaton College, a person and college I greatly respect.

Unknown to the judges was the fact that from my medical days being a student at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London and then working there, it was Clapham where I lived. It was at this stage I first learned of the wonderful works of this inspirational man. I then went of to Cambridge to study theology prior to ordination. When I was ordained it was to the Clapham area that I returned as an assistant minister. Three years later I moved to be rector of my own parish once again in Clapham. There was literally not a single day when I did not think of this great man. It is therefore a great honour to be presented with this award that remembers one of the greatest Christian statesmen of all times.

Canon Andrew White - the Vicar of Baghdad

(the featured image for this post is from my recent trip to the USA)

‘Faith Under Fire’ wins 2012 Ultimate Christian Library Book Award

2012 Ultimate Christian Library Book Award Winners

2012 Award Winners: Andrea Skevington (left) Canon Andrew (right) with the presenter, Canon David Winter in the middle

Congratulations Andrew for winning the 2012 Ultimate Christian Library Book Award today for ‘Faith Under Fire’.

Visit our shop to buy any of Canon Andrew’s books, or simply click below to make a purchase now.

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From Canon Andrew

Today is a big day and I need your prayers.

  • First my mother is to have her surgery today, her gall bladder will be removed.
  • Secondly today is a major day as tonight I will be presented with the First Freedom Prize at a major dinner with 250 important people and 10 of my friends.
  • Finally I am soon to be making a DVD that Congressman Wolf will be sending to all the Church leaders asking them to support our work.

I had a very major meeting with Congressman Wolf yesterday and he told me something I have never heard before. He said I was a rock star and every body needs to hear my voice. He then told me that the world needed to hear my message and if I just stayed in Iraq I would be killed soon.

I thanked him for his comments but told him that I would not be leaving my beloved land and people.

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Canon Andrew receives International First Freedom Award

Canon Andrew White and friends at the First Freedom Awards ceremony

Reposted from Keith Parkin’s blog.

“The prize giving event yesterday was a wonderful event. Hundreds of people at the prize giving dinner and even lots of friends I did not even know were coming. Amb. Bell the foundation president told me that it by far the best prize giving event in his memory. It was such an honour.” Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White, aka the “Vicar of Baghdad”, has been awarded the First Freedom Prize for his outstanding work on Middle East peace initiatives and extremely rare to be awarded to a non-Head of State.  The citation reads:

Canon Andrew White

Dubbed the “Vicar of Baghdad,” The Reverend Canon Andrew White is Vicar of St. George’s Church, the only Anglican Church in Iraq. White is also President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

Canon Andrew White has built an extraordinary ministry of reconciliation and conflict mediation in the Middle East. In 1998, he was installed as the Director of International Ministry for the Diocese and Cathedral of Coventry. Soon after, White became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy to the Middle East, a very dangerous position in which White’s predecessor, Terry Waite, was kidnapped by Hizbullah and held hostage for over four years.

White was actively involved in the Middle East helping to lead the negotiations during the Siege of the Church of the Nativity in 2002 and helping draft the First Alexandria Declaration of the Religious Leaders of the Holy Land, and the Baghdad Religious Accord, both of which were instrumental in bringing together key religious leaders of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. Since 2005, White has worked almost exclusively as the pastor of St. George’s Church in Iraq, and continues his pioneering reconciliation efforts through The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

In Iraq, Canon White joins his responsibilities of pastoral care with an aggressive interfaith mission to reduce conflict in an insecure environment. The clinic that White’s church sponsors has medical staff from all sects in Iraq and delivers humanitarian relief without regard for the religious or ethnic backgrounds of patients.

White’s standing and reputation with the most senior religious leaders in Iraq has helped him reduce not only violence against Iraq’s increasingly small Christian community, but reduce violence against all Iraqis as well. White uses interfaith dialogue as part of a conflict arbitration strategy in Iraq, trying to gain the trust of key Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim religious leaders as grounds for mediating and re-establishing political dialogue. Through creating relationships of trust and confidence, White has brought together the leaders of the opposing sectarian factions, and his foundation has sponsored a number of high-level peace talks between them. Meetings chaired by White produced the first ever joint Sunni and Shi’ite religious opinion against violence in Iraq, which was read out in at least 80% of the mosques in Iraq.

Too often International Awards and Honours go to unworthy recipients. The Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was a sick joke. The First Freedom Award to Canon Andrew White was a just recognition of his work in the Middle East! Andrew White was accompanied to the Award Ceremony by the lovely Fulla Elia who was looking absolutely stunning!

Previous recipients of this prestigious award include former Czech President Václav Havel for his role in Charter 77 and the Velvet Revolution; as well as three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Father Elias Chacour, founder of Israel’s Mar Elias Educational Institutions.

First Freedom Center is an American institute that seeks to advance the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

Photos courtesy of Fulla Elia.

Download Press Release

First Freedom Prize

Dear Friends,

Today I head to the US mainly to be presented this years first freedom prize.

It is a prize mainly won by Heads of State and other major world leaders. The only other British person to win it was Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister for his work on the Northern Ireland peace deal. The reality is that this prize does not compare with last weeks Vicar of the Year :-). This award is being presented for my work towards all religions for religious freedom is very serious as freedom of religion is the very foundation of Human Rights. It is therefore a great honour to receive this award and our pray is that I may always be faithful in my sincere search for religious freedom for all.

You can read more about the prize and the First Freedom Center here.
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