Tragic plight of Christians in Iraq

Prior to the illegal war on Iraq there were 100,000 Christians in Iraq. There is now less than half that number.

Islamist terrorists are targeting Christians.

St George’s Church in Baghdad has seen forty families flee in the last two months.

Last year saw a massive bomb go off outside St George’s Church. The Church has managed to recover. The Church provides a sanctuary of peace and tranquility. St George’s has a clinic. It serves all Iraqis regardless of faith.

Last Sunday over 50 people were killed in an attack on a Catholic Church.

Speaking at a dinner in Guildford a few days later, Canon Andrew White spoke of his pain at seeing his friend the priest lying in a pool of blood. In England at the time he wanted to go straight back, but his people said no, speak to the people in Guildford, tell them what is going on, then come back. [see Dinner with Canon Andrew White]

Canon Andrew White is an Al Queada target, as are all Christians in Iraq. He attends church with an armed escort, to be met at St George’s by the children who hand him his robes.

The Obama presidency has been a disaster for Iraq. People are afraid.

Christians in Iraq are petrified, but such is their faith, they regularly attend church.

Speaking on the Radio 4 lunchtime news programme The World This Weekend, Archbishop Athanasios Dawood, who is based in the UK, called on the West to do more to protect Iraqi Christians, if not they must provide asylum for all Iraqi Christians who wish to leave. He criticised the UK government for sending Iraqi Christians back to their death.

One of the reasons for the upsurge in violence is the failure to form an Iraqi government. Terrorists are filling the vacuum.

Christians in Iraq are very proud of their heritage. Abraham was in Iraq, Job was in Iraq, Doubting Thomas was in Iraq. They are prepared to die for their faith. They are not prepared to die for terrorists.

The plight of the Iraqi Christians results directly from the illegal war waged on Iraq by war criminals Bush and Blair, both of who have gone on to profit from that war, they and their corporate friends, leaving behind a war-ravaged country, a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists.

Why are the churches in the West not doing more to help, not only the Christians in Iraq but all the people of Iraq? Churches in the UK have a special responsibility. Iraq is a British creation, lines on a map. It was war criminal Tony Blair who took it upon himself, salivating at the heels of George W Bush, to take his country into an illegal war on the back of a pack of lies. Why is St Mary’s in Guildford condoning Israeli so-called Peace Oil for sale on its premises when it could and should be selling Palestinian fairtrade oil which directly helps the people of occupied Palestine? Much as I disagree with their philosophy, I nevertheless thank the Evangelicals of the Diocese of Guildford for inviting Canon Andrew White as guest speaker at their dinner which enabled him to describe the situation in Iraq. Donations to FRRME of which Canon Andrew White is president help peace and reconciliation initiatives in the Middle East.

The Sunday following the attack on the Catholic Church there was a candlelit vigil at Hyde Park, Guildford Cathedral and possibly other places too. What was powerful was that it was not only Christians, but Muslims too.

Also see

Vicar: Iraqi Christians are ‘petrified’

Church attack: ‘Worse than a horror film’

Iraq TV station taken off air after deadly church raid

Baghdad church hostage drama ends in bloodbath

Eyewitness: Baghdad church siege

Holy Land Christians pray for victims of Iraq church attack

Church leader urges Iraqi Christians to quit country

PM cautions against open door to Iraq Christian immigration

Iraqi Christians’ long history

Al-Qaida is turning its focus on Iraq’s vulnerable Christians

The plight of Iraqi Christians

End of Christianity in the Middle East?

Muslims converting to Christianity

Eyewitness Iraq

Robert Fisk: Only justice can bring peace to this benighted region

Occupation and Resistance in Iraq

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