Yesterday I was in the Foreign Office in London with Canon Faez Jirjees of St George’s, Baghdad. We were there to talk to the UK government, following our meeting in September at 10 Downing Street. Circumstances in Iraq have deteriorated markedly since September. Street protests have grown in numbers and spread to many cities.
Protestors have been fired on with live rounds. Faez said that probably over 400 people have been killed and thousands more injured. People at St George’s are worried about the situation. The provincial government buildings are right next to the St George’s fortified compound. Even before the protests, when I visited last year, St George’s was protected by armed guards 24 hours per day.
In the Foreign Office we met with Lord Ahmad who expressed the UK government’s grave concerns. It is hard to see how these political protests are going to be resolved. Today is the 13th day. The mostly young protestors want to change the political system which they say has failed them. They accuse the government of corruption and of not tackling huge unemployment despite massive oil revenues.
Please pray for a peaceful resolution and for safety for all working and attending St George’s.
A message to UK Christians from Faez Jirjees
Please listen to Faez’s message by clicking on this YouTube video:
Faez was made a Canon in the Church of England a few days ago. This week in London he met with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Perhaps the Archbishop may one day visit the troubled country of Iraq when things are less volatile!
We congratulate Faez on this appointment and pay tribute to his inspiring work of peace-building in Iraq. He is a man who works tirelessly to build bridges with those who seek peace in all religious groupings in Iraq. We are privileged to be funders of his ministry and of St George’s.
Mike Simpson FRRME CEO, 8th November 2019
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