Posts Tagged ‘Baghdad’

Under siege but vicar of Baghdad is still spreading the word

April 7, 2012
Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White

Andrew White got his blue Iraqi badge on Wednesday – the pass that allows him to move around Baghdad. The Anglican Chaplain to Iraq supported the US invasion – he still thinks Saddam shipped his weapons of mass destruction off to Syria before the Anglo-American armies arrived – and as someone who used an American pass to get about, the end of the occupation must have contained a special irony. “From the day the Americans left, their passes didn’t work any more. I couldn’t do anything. But now I’ve got the new Iraqi badge. It’s fine.”

White says he has even asked for Iraqi nationality. “They won’t let me. Iraqis come to London and five years later they’re British. I’ve been here for 14 years. Why can’t I be Iraqi?” I ponder this one. He’s of Anglo-Indian stock and looks a lot more Iraqi than many Iraqis. But I doubt if his citizenship – his wife’s great-great grandfather was foreign secretary Joseph Chamberlain – is exactly at the top of the al-Maliki agenda in Baghdad.

I like Andrew White. He’s larger than life, brave, a combination of a quote-a-day preacher, Martin Luther, Terry Waite and a Vicar for All Seasons. I find myself gasping at his mixture of frankness and wire-tripping, criticising the Iraqi Christian clergy as well as Muslim prelates – “That’s the problem with this place, everyone thinks they’re in charge” (that was his Maundy Thursday sermon) – and I suspect he might be more popular with his friends in Islam than his brothers in Christianity.

His work for Muslim-Christian reconciliation (in Baghdad, Alexandria, Copenhagen, Coventry, you name it) while ministering to a flock in Baghdad he simply can’t protect is somewhat close to that old cliché: awesome. He’s lost members of his church council to kidnappers (11 in one day in 2005, between Fallujah and Ramadi, and never seen again), seen his flock murdered in the streets, even his own security guards killed, 270 of his congregation murdered in five years; for months, he lived in the notorious Green Zone, freighted by armoured cars and armoured men to and from St George’s Church in Haifa Street.

St George’s is Andrew White’s cathedral, his parish, his “heaven” – his word, and I’ll keep it that way – and was built to commemorate the British and Commonwealth dead of the 1914-18 war. Its fine stained-glass regimental windows were long ago shattered by bombs, and even the remaining plaque to “one million dead who fell in the Great War” has been gashed by shrapnel.

In 2009, a bomb in Haifa Street that killed 164 Iraqis sent arms and legs sailing through the empty windows of St George’s. Now its garden boasts a small pyramid to commemorate eight Danish soldiers killed in Iraq between 2005 and 2008, a tiny reminder of the cost in Western blood of the Bush-and-Blair arrogance of power. A Christian population of one and a half million has been reduced to 200,000, courtesy of a born-again Christian from Texas.

But then up pops the ornery side of Andrew White. He patiently explains that his church received financial help from the Americans under Bush. “That all stopped when Obama took over.” The collapse of the Christian minority is a tragedy which the West has still not faced. It is now scattered across Sweden, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, America … Andrew White now runs a reconciliation council which includes Yazidis, Turkmen, Mandiens (followers of John the Baptist), Messihis, Faili (Shia) Kurds, you name it. He regards senior members of the Sunni and Shia clergy as his friends. The fatwa against all sectarian killings was partly his work.

But then suddenly, White becomes the country parson, tut-tutting at our lack of faith. General Angus Maude (“liberator” of Great War Baghdad) and Gertrude Bell, one of the inventors of Churchill’s Iraq, are both interred in the British cemetery. “Maude only came to our church once and then he died of cholera (he didn’t boil his milk) and he is buried in our cemetery. Gertrude Bell is buried in our cemetery – but never came to our church!” Suddenly, White’s the imaginary Vicar of Aynsford (where he was born), questioning our need for Christian burial if we lack Christian faith. I smile weakly. White also cares for Iraq’s seven remaining Jews, angrily telling me that a US cable released by WikiLeaks identified all by name, complete with their home addresses. “They are quite frightened,” he says. As the French say: J’imagine.

It’s impossible not to admire White. He’s a media man to his bones, of course, but he’s also a scholar, a former medical doctor who studied Hebrew at Cambridge, Rabbinics at Mea Sharim, speaks Hebrew and used to speak Yiddish. In Iraq, most Christians speak Aramaic. White points out that there is a Jewish shrine for Ezekial (Dhu Alkafel for Muslims) between Babylon and Najaf, now a Shia shrine. “The imam from there comes to this room and chats to me.”

At 47, White suffers from multiple sclerosis and has endured years of pain, a courage that must impress the Muslim and Christian members of his High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq. But there’s always something in the wings when you talk to Andrew White. He signs his book, The Vicar of Baghdad, for me and casually remarks that the then Iraqi prime minister used this very pen to sign Saddam Hussein’s death warrant. “Of course, I didn’t know he was going to use it for that!” Andrew White says. He hands me the pen. For historians, it is an expensive black Pelikan. I leave through his Iraqi security checkpoints, one after another. He lives in a prison within a prison within a prison within a prison. His words, not mine.

– Robert Fisk

Published in The Independent.

Robert Fisk is a rare example of a British journalist of integrity. He tells the truth about the Middle East.

Canon Andrew White is author of Faith Under Fire, President of FRRME, the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

He has recently been awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

It had been hoped to hold a three-day International Peace Conference on Iraq, Light in Darkness, in Brighton, bringing young people from Iraq but this has collapsed due to lack of funding.

Senior Sunni Clerics issue fatwa against sectarian violence

January 30, 2012

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. — Matthew 5:9

Today I met with some of the most senior clerics in Iraq under the auspices of the Society of Iraqi Islamic Scientists (the senior Sunni Clerics Society). Some of them also came to Najaf with us on Friday. The main issue on the agenda was finding ways to stop the sectarian violence against the Shia. They also delivered a Fatwa (Islamic) injunction against all sectarian violence and publicly declared that most sectarian violence was coming from the Sunni community. Tomorrow the Fatwa will be discussed with the Iraqi Vice President and the British Ambassador.

– Canon Andrew White

The Fatwa

THE IRAQI SOCIETY OF ISLAMIC SCIENTISTS FATWA

In the name of God the Merciful

Under the conditions experienced by Iraqis and many Middle Eastern people at the present time and in the light of the increase in the level of Iraqi sectarian violence and the volatile situation, we believe that the deteriorating political condition calls upon us as Sunni religious scholars to together as a group to issue a Fatwa.

We wish to declare the sanctity of all Iraqi blood wether Shia, Sunni or Christian. We call for a mechanism to educate the Iraqi Society in order to renounce all sectarian violence and instead create an environment of cooperation with civil society organizations and institutions of civil jurisdiction so not to allow our people in Iraq to divide into sectarian conflicts. We must work towards national unity amongst all Muslims (Sunni and Shia) and Christians; we all have the duty and right to live together in unity in our country Iraq.

Dr Sheikh Khaled Abdul-Wahab Mullah, Leader, Sunni Cleric Baghdad + Basrah
Shekh Saadi Mehdi Qutaiba Alindaoui Sunni Leader Al Anbar
Sheikh Maher Al Jubori Sunni Cleric Fullujah
Dr Sheikh Kubaisi Jalal Sunni Cleric Rammadi
Sheikh Marwan Al Araji Sunni Cleric Baghdad
Sheikh Hasham Al Dulami Sunni Cleric Fullujah

I was talking with my friend Margaret this evening who works in Triangle (Christian tea shop cum bookshop) and we both agreed that if anyone was going to have an impact on the sectarian violence in Iraq it was Canon Andrew White.

Over the last few days he has been talking to Sunni religious leaders, the outcome a fatwa against the sectarian violence.

Now we need a similar fatwa from the Shia clerics.

Canon Andrew White is author of Faith Under Fire, President of FRRME, the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

He has recently been awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

A three-day International Peace Conference on Iraq, Light in Darkness, is to be held in Brighton, Thursday 6 September to Saturday 8 September at the City Coast Church. It is hoped to bring young people from Iraq but this will depend upon how generous are donors. Speaker will include Canon Andrew White. For more information and for donations, please contact FRRME.

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

- God moves in mysterious ways
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
- Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
- House of Lords debates the plight of Christians in the Middle East

God moves in mysterious ways

January 28, 2012
Lina, Andrew, vice president and daughter

Lina, Andrew, vice president and daughter

Synchronicity is the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer. — Carl Jung

Anything that occurs once can never occur again. But, should it happen twice, it will surely happen a third time. — Paulo Coelho

Well today has been an incredible day spent in the Holy Shia Shrine of Najaf. We had with us the serious Sunni leaders as we attempted to deal with the present sectarian crisis. More on this later.

You will be aware of our present crisis with the need for green zone badges. We need to get into the Green Zone not least for the US Embassy services. Everything we have tried has failed. Yesterday we did a deal with an Ambassador’s Assistant to get us in and out tomorrow. It will take several hours of his time on his day off that will cost us but it is worth it.

Last night I had an email from somebody doing their PhD on Sunni/Shia Reconciliation in Iraq at University in Canada. She desperately wanted to see me as she had read my work and been told about me by her lecturers. I sent her my phone number and she called. She said that she and her father really wanted to see me tomorrow. She said she lived in the Green Zone. I asked her who her father was? It turns out it is the good vice president who has promised to get all our badges for us. What a strange way G-d answers prayer but He always does!!!!!!!!!!!!!

– Canon Andrew White

Since the Americans left leaving as claimed by Barack Obama Iraq as a stable country (must have been his idea of a sick joke), over 200 killed. Yesterday another suicide car bomb.

Passes to to the Green Zone, issued by the Americans, no matter how high the security clearance, became overnight worthless. Hence the problems experienced by Canon Andrew White and others moving freely to and from the Green Zone.

What Canon Andrew White has described is a lovely example of synchronicity!

A theme running throughout the work of Paulo Coelho, is that of coincidence, or what I would call synchronicity.

Omens are another theme, understanding how to understand and follow them, how to achieve your destiny.

Synchronicity is that of meaningful coincidences, coincidences that are so improbable that they cannot be explained by chance alone.

The concept of synchronicity was developed by Carl Jung. Deepak Chopra takes it a stage further and calls synchronicity communication across the transition zone (see How to Know God). In the language of Paulo Coelho, it would be communication with the Soul of the World. Canon Andrew White would see it as a sign from G-d!

I was introduced to Paulo Coelho due to a chance meeting with a lovely Lithuanian girl. We were both sitting outside a pub in Guildford, relaxing by the river. I asked her what she was reading. The Zahir she said, which she recommended I try. A couple of weeks later I was in Brighton. I had a similar conversation, only now the roles were reversed. History repeating itself, a sense of déja vu? [see Synchronicity and Paulo Coelho]

Canon Andrew White is author of Faith Under Fire, President of FRRME, the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

He has recently been awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

A three-day International Peace Conference on Iraq, Light in Darkness, is to be held in Brighton, Thursday 6 September to Saturday 8 September at the City Coast Church. It is hoped to bring young people from Iraq but this will depend upon how generous are donors. Speaker will include Canon Andrew White. For more information and for donations, please contact FRRME.

The conference was due to be held in Bracknell end of July. It coincided with the London 2012 Olympics and extortionate hotel prices. At short notice it has had to be moved to Brighton in September. A much pleasanter place to be and early September is a good time to be in Brighton.

God moves in mysterious ways!

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

- Interview with Canon Andrew White in Canada
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
- Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
- House of Lords debates the plight of Christians in the Middle East

Interview with Canon Andrew White in Canada

January 17, 2012

Excellent interview with Canon Andrew White on 100huntley.com talking about Biblical references to Iraq (there are lots) and the current situation in Iraq both from a political and religious viewpoint.

How many people were able to count Yasser Arafat as a close personal friend, someone who got an invite to a five-year-old’s birthday party? How many churches have angels and the wheels within wheels as described by Ezekiel present?

Canon Andrew White is the Anglican priest of St George’s in Baghdad and a Middle East Peacemaker.

Last week he was awarded the highly prestigious First Freedom Award.

Books mentioned:

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

Canon Andrew White awarded First Freedom Award

January 14, 2012
Canon Andrew White and Fulla Elia at First Freedom Award ceremony

Canon Andrew White and Fulla Elia at First Freedom Award ceremony

Fulla, Andrew and Julie Futch

Fulla, Andrew and Julie Futch

Andrew, Fulla and others

Andrew, Fulla and others

Andrew group photo

Andrew group photo

First Freedom Award - Andrew White 2012

First Freedom Award - Andrew White 2012

First Freedom Award reverse

First Freedom Award reverse

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 and some of the pictures are below. — Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White, aka 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:

2012 INTERNATIONAL RECIPIENT
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.

Faith Under Fire by Andrew White has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

- Canon Andrew White awarded International First Freedom Award
- Andrew White wins International First Freedom Award
- Anglican Priest Given Prestigious Religious Freedom Award

Faith Under Fire

January 7, 2012
Faith Under Fire

Faith Under Fire

Don’t take care, take risks. — Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Donald Coggan

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28

There cannot be any such word as ‘can’t’ here in Iraq. We have to persevere, and we do. And in everything we see the glory of God. — Canon Andrew White

When religion goes wrong, it goes very wrong. — Archbishop William Temple

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. — 1 John 4:18

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:17

Anaesthetist, curate, parish priest, head of peace and reconciliation unit at Coventry Cathedral, Middle East peace negotiator, Vicar of Baghdad, not bad for a CV.

Some people are lucky, or so those who consider themselves unlucky bemoan, but it is not that, it is taking risks, drawing upon what life gives us.

If we look at the Life of Charles Darwin, Origin of Species did not just happen, nor was it because he happened to be at the right place at the right time (though that helped). It was because he took what life offered, he drew upon the experience gained in his earlier life.

The same is true of Canon Andrew White, he takes risks where others would hesitate, he draws upon the experience life has given him, all done with a love of God and love for those who he serves, underwritten in the faith in the One God, or G-d as he would write.

Much of my work in religious sectarianism is simply about showing love to the unlovely.

Those who commit the worst atrocities are usually those with nothing to lose.

It is easy to talk to the good guys, not so easy the bad guys, those whose hands drip with the blood of the innocents. But to make progress we have to talk to everyone.

The founder and leader of Hamas was beyond the pale. He changed from a man of violence to an advocate of peace. When he died, even Members of the Knesset attended his funeral.

At the age of ten Andrew White knew what he wanted, knew where he was heading. He wanted to be both an anaesthetist and a priest.

You cannot be both, he was told, and in any case, with your background, Pentecostal and Baptist, you cannot be a priest as they do not have them.

Needs will or looked at another way, God provides. He became both, first an anaesthetist, then an Anglican priest. Part of his theological studies were spent in Jerusalem studying Judaism. All of which has prepared him well for the work in the Middle East.

The world I occupied then is vastly different to the one I occupy now, but nevertheless I learnt some important lessons – not least the ability to react quickly in situations. When a patient goes into cardiac arrest you have to react immediately. When someone points a gun at you, you must also react immediately. If you have to think about dodging a bullet, it has already hit you. On the streets of Baghdad, my medical training has probably been of more use to me than my theological training at Cambridge.

Christianity in Iraq has a long and proud history. It is not an alien religion brought in or imposed by the West. Christian Fundamentalists who rode in on the coattails of the Americans like modern day carpet baggers did a huge amount of damage. It made Christians seem tools of the West. The Crusades are still in common memory. Conversely Iraqis were surprised to find American soldiers were Christians with crosses around their necks as they thought Christianity a Middle Eastern if not Iraqi religion.

- House of Lords debates the plight of Christians in the Middle East
- Crass stupidity by Christian fundamentalists leads to persecution and massacre of Christians in the Middle East
- Christianity A History: The Crusades

St George’s in Baghdad was built by and for the Brits. It now serves Iraqis, all are welcome.

Those who can, have long fled Iraq. Those left are the poor and dispossessed. When all is lost, faith is all that is left.

Lord Hylton on a visit to Baghdad described St George’s as a church of the future. A church that welcomes everyone and everyone is made welcome, be they Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, be they Christian or Muslim, where everyone is loved and shares their love. A place where angels appear. A place of peace and tranquillity in a war-torn country.

Angels? The angels first appeared in 2007, and have remained since.

Another of our ‘gains’ has been the visible presence of angels. I had read of angels in the Bible, of course, and I, and others, had regularly prayed for their protection in Iraq. But until three years ago I had never actually seen one. Towards the end of 2007, quite suddenly, we started to see angelic forms. They look very much like we’d expect angels to look – like males with wings – but they are strange figures, large and translucent. We take them very seriously.

Occasionally strange objects like wheels within wheels are seen. They only appear within St George’s, at some other churches in Iraq and at Ezekiel Tomb.

- Wheels within wheels

It is not known what they are, they are very prolific. In photos they appear as blobs.

Ezekiel saw something similar (Ezekiel 1:15-21):

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose.

Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

St George’s used to cost $600 a year to run, it now costs $175,000 a month to run. It is not only the running cost of the church, there is an associated clinic, education, food and welfare. All of which has to be raised through fund raising and donations.

Why do people suffer, why is Iraq descending into Hell, why is Canon Andrew White afflicted with multiple sclerosis?

- Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

God moves in mysterious ways.

I am aware that God trains and prepares us through all of life’s experiences. Sometimes He sees fit to impose on us things we do not see as ‘the best’ for our lives, but He sees the greater purpose and allows such things as so that we will do what He wants us to do oe go where He wants us to go.

It is often those who face the greatest adversity who share the greatest love. Canon Andrew White in Iraq is a good example of this.

St Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn from his side, God responded (1 Corinthians 12:19):

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

God speaks in quiet whispers, we have to listen with care.

I often recommend to people three books, well I actually recommend far more than three books, but these three books are special because they compliment and support each other – Love Wins, The Shack, Aleph – to which I now add a fourth, Faith Under Fire, as what we read in the first three and at times seems mystical, not real, far-fetched, is an everyday occurrence in Iraq.

Aleph is a strange mystical book, it cannot be for real, we think, and yet Canon Andrew White recounts far stranger mystical happenings.

Love Wins tells of the love God has for each and everyone one of us. Canon Andrew White tells of the love in Baghdad.

In The Shack we see the mystery of the Holy Spirit, forgiveness. We see this happening in Iraq.

Faith Under Fire has been shortlisted as the Christian Book of 2012. It is open to vote on-line for your favourite book, but somewhat dumb you have to vote for a childrens book too even though you may have no views. Also badly designed website, link does not go direct to voting form.

Canon Andrew White is the vicar of St Geoge’s Church in Baghdad and President of FRRME.

- Iraq
- The Vicar of Baghdad
- Suffer the Children

Wheels within wheels

December 27, 2011
wheels within wheels

wheels within wheels

Ezekiel saw wheels within wheels (Ezekiel 1:15-21):

As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose.

Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

Occasionally strange objects like wheels within wheels are seen in Iraq. They only appear within St George’s in Baghdad, at some other churches in Iraq and at Ezekiel’s Tomb in El Kifl, just north of Najaf.

It is not known what they are, they are very prolific. In photos they appear as blobs.

Canon Andrew White describes these strange wheels within wheels in his book Faith Under Fire:

Occasionally, we also see strange images appearing around the place that look like wheels within wheels. We have actually taken photos of these and some appear in this book [Faith Under Fire]. At times, these wheels (that can at times appear like blobs) are so prolific that it is difficult to take pictures because they are everywhere. I have tried many different cameras, but the results are always the same. We do not understand what the images are, but we regard them as a sign of the presence of the Spirit of God. We are in the same land that the Prophet Ezekiel was in when he saw something similar.

Angels also appear in St George’s.

Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown

December 23, 2011

Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown

Heart is wounded and eye in tears …..
Baghdad and the tears and crying
Slaughtered Vgraleom Baghdad to pay tax on the withdrawal of occupation
… … Let him hear the whole world that we have received New Year with a barrage of bleeding, not trees Birth
We gave school children dead booby, not gifts from Santa Cruz
We constructed and consolation black and not the establishment of the celebrations and dinner turkey
….. This is our Iraq and this is what it was

- Lina Dawood Al Ashorea

Few words, but very moving.

Lina is in Iraq, an eyewitness to the descent into Hell.

If you are at Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve, please ask that they spare a minute’s silence for the people of Iraq as their country descends into Hell.

- Christmas message from Canon Andrew White
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
- Displaced by war, Iraqis mourn lost homes

Christmas message from Canon Andrew White

December 23, 2011

Dear Friends

There are not words to describe the carnage, terrorism and sheer pain of Iraq yesterday. Not for four years have we seen this level of violence in Baghdad. Everybody has been affected. Even people not injured in this tragedy are filled with trauma and pain. So many people have been affected. Baghdad is hurting. People of all faiths and backgrounds are in tears. The bombs did not just affect one area but the whole of Baghdad.

This is clearly a result of political tension and distortion. To have the Prime Minister put out a warrant for the arrest of the Vice President is most serious and looks like a rise of the Shia-Sunni divide. A week after the US troops left we are facing huge disaster.

Whilst the world is celebrating Christmas, Baghdad is hurting and burning. In no way were Christians targeted in these attacks. They appear to mainly be targeted at the Shia, but Sunnis were killed as well and everybody in the church is also hurting.

Once again the call we are called upon to stand with and to help those caught up in this disaster. Thank you for standing with us as we do so.

For me the pain is so difficult. I am torn. I desperately want to be there with the people I love, but at the same time I want to celebrate the joy of Christmas with my family in England.

The news of Christmas is still one of love and joy, because love came down at Christmas. It is only this fact that keeps us going in Baghdad. Despite the tragedy of the moment, our Lord is still here and His Spirit is still with us. Even if we lose everything, we still have our Lord Jesus who came to us at Christmas.

Blessings,
Andrew White

Canon Andrew White will be speaking at:

Oasis Church Portsmouth 4pm Sunday 1 January 2012.

The Vineyard Cente, Church House, Union Road, Farnham. 7-30pm Tuesday 3 January 2012.

- Sorry Sir my dear Jesus , we came to you with, black gown
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell
- Displaced by war, Iraqis mourn lost homes

Canon Andrew White at the Boiler Room

December 4, 2011
anointing with oil

anointing with oil

books by Andrew White

books by Andrew White

Happy Second Advent, my friends. Love and peace — Rudolf Schenker

Suffer the children to come unto me. — Jesus

We are not the person other people wish we were. We are who we decide to be. — Paulo Coelho

Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander. — Holocaust Museum

A house has been blown up said Andrew somewhat nonchalantly after checking his phone as though commenting on the weather. Not quite an everyday conversation, but then I was not sat next to an everyday person, I was sat with Canon Andrew White aka the Vicar of Baghdad who as well as checking his phone was doodling with the children on the table cloth.

We were both at the Boiler Room in Guildford, not to be confused with the Boiler Room in Guildford. We were at a rather drab function room well passed its sell-by date at the Stoke Pub where Andrew was about to give an eagerly anticipated talk.

In the Middle East it is very tribal, it is too in the West, it is just that we do not notice.

A little girl Amy, Canon Andrew White had worked with both her grandfathers, as a medic and as a cleric.

We are at the Second Sunday of Advent. It involves a little more than getting the chocolate out of the Advent Calender, it is not preparation for Christmas, but rather to mark the return of Jesus, the Second Coming.

Isaiah chapter 40, prepare for the Second Coming, a message repeated in Mark.

On this day we also remember the birth of John the Baptist.

No matter how bad a situation there is always hope.

In Iraq today, houses blown up, shops blown up, not that we would know if we relied on the news (though try Al Jazeera which has far better news reporting).

- Iraq: Muslim mob shouting “Allahu akbar” attacks, ransacks, burns Christian-owned shops and hotels
- Christians Attacked in Iraq by Kurdish Extremists
- Kurdish leader: Clerics ‘instigated … acts of sabotage,’ wounding 25

Iraq is an amazing place, the setting for many Biblical stories.

The Garden of Eden was in Iraq, between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Abraham was born in Iraq. Job came from Iraq and his tomb or shrine can be found in Iraq.

We know Job was in Iraq, because although it is not explicitly recorded that he was in Iraq, it is recorded that he was killed by the Chaldeans or Mandeans and they were only in Iraq.

Mandeans are followers of John the Baptist. They hold their services in water, they even get married in water.

The Second Exile (the First Exile was to Egypt) was to Babylon.

According to the children in Iraq, Jesus was also in Iraq, he was the fourth person who was seen in the flames.

If you want something, pray!

An Ayatollah sought from Canon Andrew White some meat, when told he had no meat, he said pray.

Please God, send me some meat. Amen.

Next morning at a breakfast, a burly American asked, Father, do you want some meat? How much? Over 100 tons of meat!

Think BIG!

In 2003, St George’s in Baghdad re-opened. Until then, its congregation was a few pigeons. The first service was for military and diplomats. Soon it became too dangerous. Then the Iraqis started to come. First Sunday 100, next week 200, then 300, then 400, then a thousand, then two thousand, then three thousand, then four thousand.

When many of the congregation were killed or fled, it was thought there would be less mouths to feed, but not so, the Christians were replaced by 500 Muslim women. For them it was the same God, the God of Abraham.

Many, many people have been killed, kidnapped, tortured.

The entire church leadership were kidnapped one night and killed.

Last October, when Canon Andrew White was in Guildford to give a talk, he heard the tragic news that 58 people had been massacred in a neighbouring Catholic Church including the priest. It was a period when many Christians were killed, their homes and businesses destroyed.

- Dinner with Canon Andrew White

St George’s is no longer a church, more a city. It has an associated clinic which is better than you would find in England. It provides a school, welfare, food. After Sunday service, everyone is given a bag of groceries to take home.

The Curate at the church is the first ever Iraqi Anglican!

24-7 Prayer is run from the church.

Angels appear, or what are believed to be angels. Even when asked to go away, even if only for a few minutes in order that photos can be taken they stay and appear as blobs in photos. An example can be found in Faith Under Fire.

In Iraq, you cannot just walk down the street, knock a few doors and ask would you like to come to church this Sunday? Too dangerous.

But there is no need. They turn up anyway.

Muslims are made very welcome in the church.

In the Middle East you show respect by inviting to dinner and having plenty of food on display to eat.

Special place for children, of which there are several hundred, 21 of who form a special inner circle.

Several of these children are in the book Suffer the Children telling their stories.

One of these girls now works as Andrew’s PA.

Occasionally a few of the children are brought to England.

One of Andrew’s sons said he wished to go to Iraq. Why? He wished to update his facebook profile and wanted a picture with big guns.

His request was acceded to. He spent most of his time with the soldiers who guard Canon Andrew White. One day when asked where he had been when he vanished for three hours, he had apparently been with the soldiers learning how to strip and reassemble an AK-47!

Isaiah spoke of a chosen people: Egypt, Iraq (Assyria) and Israel.

There is a t-shirt in Iraq: Don’t worry it can only get worse

Another t-shirt shows a smiley face with a bullet hole in the head and blood dripping down the face with the slogan: Have a nice day some place else

Canon Andrew White had with him two very special objects: a little bottle of anointing oil and a very old Bible. Both had belonged to Smith Wigglesworth, who his grandfather had worked for as an assistant.

The oil was used to anoint everyone present. One person invited forward, hand held out, who then anointed those at their table.

After talking Canon Andrew White led a singing session, then chatted with the children and signed books.

I picked up three more signed copies of Faith Under Fire.

I came bearing gifts.

I gave a copy of a talk Andrew had given a few weeks earlier in Guildford.

- Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church

To Andrew too a copy of the talk within a Christmas card plus to take back to Baghdad: Aleph, The Alchemist and The Valkyries, all by Paulo Coelho. As the people there cannot read English, I will see what I can do to arrange for copies in Arabic.

Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947), was a leading light in the Pentecostal Church. He was known as the Apostle of Faith, moved in mighty signs and wonders and it was even claimed raised people from the dead!

- Smith Wiggleworth Prophecy for Britain Coming to Pass!

Guildford Boiler Room is a Christian community that meets at Stoke Pub in Guildford.

Creative Arts @ Costa evening Tuesday 6 December 2011 at Costa, Swan Lane, Guildford.

An African Christmas The Occam Singers evening Saturday 10 December 2011 at St Nicoals Church (bottom of High Street over the bridge), Guildford.

Guildford Boiler Room Carol Service evening Sunday 11 December 2011 at Stoke Pub, Guildford.

Keystone Spirit evening Tuesday 13 December 2011 at Keystone Pub (behind St Nicolas Church), Guildford.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers