Posts Tagged ‘Christians’

More tragic news from Iraq

November 15, 2010

In the past hour the legs of our security chief have been blown off, Minister wijdan’s driver has been killed, her chief of staff has been blown up. Letters have been put through many Christians doors telling them to leave now because it is not their country and we thought things were better today. — Canon Andrew White

More tragic news of Iraq, sent to me today by Canon Andrew White (aka Vicar of Baghdad).

I ask myself why the deafening silence from the Church in England? What have those who attended the dinner a couple of weeks ago done with the knowledge of Iraq they learnt that night? The only reason Canon Andrew White delayed his return to Iraq following the massacre at the Catholic Church. He told me of the pain he felt when he saw the pictures of the body of his friend the priest lying in a pool of blood, his desire to return immediately to Iraq, but no, said his people in Iraq, talk to the people in Guildford first, tell them what is happening, then return the next day. [see Dinner with Canon Andrew White]

What of the Evangelists who were kind enough to host the dinner? Has it passed them by? Have they gone back to arguing fine details of doctrine, illustrating if nothing else the lack of understanding of the origin and history of their own faith, the medieval equivalence of arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

And speaking of angels, the armed guard that accompanies Canon Andrew White will not even set off until he has said a prayer and summoned a host of angels to protect them en route.

Christianity is not an alien religion imposed on the Middle East, despite the crude attempts of American Evangelists to convince otherwise, who think they earn a few brownie points converting a few Muslims, conveniently overlooking the fact that they all recognise the same God, a fact recognised in the Koran.

Christianity was established in the Middle East long before it was established in Europe, long before the Muslim hordes swept out of Arabia to become the dominant religion, aided and abetted by Christians who were busy slaughtering each other.

Muslims who wish to drive out Christians are bad Muslims as they are not acting in accordance with the Koran.

Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

The Koran specifically sanctifies those who believe in the one true God and lead a good and virtuous life, it does not though state Islam is the only one route to salvation. Islam believes in religious choice and freedom, practising Islam out of force not choice is unIslamic. The Koran clearly states: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ Pluralism and tolerance is encouraged. All God’s creatures are equal in the eyes of God.

If Allah had pleased He would have made you [all] a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds.

The Golden Age of Islam was 750-1100 AD. It was centred in Iraq. Scholars strived with one another to advance their knowledge, to do good deeds, they did so in the name of their faith. [see The Role of Science and Faith in the Development of Civilisations]

One man of faith, Canon Andrew White, is striving with other men of faith, to bring peace and reconciliation to a country that has descended into Hell. He could do with a little help.

Religion can be a force for good or evil. When religion goes wrong, it goes very wrong.

Also see



Though the fig tree does not bud

The children of Iraq have names

Bethlehem Hidden from View

Overnight more Christians killed in Iraq

Tragic plight of Christians in Iraq

The plight of Iraqi Christians

End of Christianity in the Middle East?

Muslims converting to Christianity

The Vicar of Baghdad

November 11, 2010
Canon Andrew White sat on Saddam Hussein's throne in the Presidential Palace

Canon Andrew White sat on Saddam Hussein's throne in the Presidential Palace

The Vicar of Baghdad – part one (lower resolution)

The Vicar of Baghdad – part two (lower resolution)

The Vicar of Baghdad – part three (lower resolution)

The Vicar of Baghdad – part four (lower resolution)

The Vicar of Baghdad, a documentary by Rageh Omaar and Al Jazeera about Canon Andrew White.

Canon Andrew White is Vicar of St Geoge’s Church in Baghdad and President of FRRME. He is also a Middle East peace negotiator.

Also see

The Vicar of Baghdad

Dinner with Canon Andrew White

The Vicar of Baghdad: Through the valley of the shadow of death

The Vicar of Baghdad drops by for a cuppa

‘I don’t just work with nice people’

Canon Andrew White awarded Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy

The Vicar of Baghdad: Canon Andrew White on his return to Iraq

If I can dodge the bullets in Baghdad, then I’ll certainly never give in to MS

Overnight more Christians killed in Iraq

November 10, 2010

The attacks on Christians are continuing. More Christians and their homes were attacked last night and some were killed. “Will the Christian world stand with us or will we be left on our own?” Is what the Christians are saying. I said all my friends are with you. They say “we know your people are with us and support us but they are the only ones”, they say. — Canon Andrew White

Last night, little more than a week after the massacre at a Catholic Church in Baghdad, Christians have been targeted in a coordinated mortar and bomb atack, their homes destroyed, at least three killed (some reports say as many as six killed).

Occupying forces have a moral and legal duty to respect the laws of the country they occupy, safeguard its citizens, restore the country to normalcy before they leave. The Coalition has singularly failed in its duties. Iraq has descended into anarchy.

War criminals Bush and Blair have profited from their illegal war, they have no regrets. It is the people of Iraq who have paid the price, especially the minorities.

Why are the Churches so silent? It is not only on Iraq. They are also silent on Occupied Palestine. Their deafening silence is to condone atrocities. Worse still we have churches that have on sale Israeli so-called Peace Oil when they could and should be selling fairtrade Palestinian olive oil. [see Peace Oil or taking the piss?]

People of faith may pray. They should never forget that God gave them free will. You do not have to remain silent, you do not have to sit back and do nothing other than wring your hands in sorrow. On Judgement Day when the sheep are separated from the goats, how will they answer Jesus when he asks them: What did you do for the people of Iraq when they cried out for help?

Also see

The children of Iraq have names

Tragic plight of Christians in Iraq

The Aftermath – Christians in Baghdad

Iran’s Iraq Strategy : Eliminate all Other Beliefs

Blasts target Iraq Christians; 3 dead, dozens hurt

3 dead, 25 wounded in Baghdad as attacks on Christians continue

Blasts target Iraq Christians; 3 dead, dozens hurt

Bombings target Christian neighbourhoods in Baghdad

Blasts Hit Baghdad Christian Homes

Christian areas targeted in Baghdad attacks

Attacks target Iraq’s Christians again, kill 5

Lives of fear for Iraqi Christians

3 killed, 26 hurt as Iraqi Christians attacked

Bombs kill six Baghdad Christians, sow panic

Christians Targeted In Baghdad Attacks

Rebuilding the world

Tragic plight of Christians in Iraq

November 7, 2010

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

Saint George’s Church in Baghdad

November 5, 2010

Saint George’s Church was estabished as an Anglican Church in 1864 for the British. It was known under Saddam Hussein as the English church and for that reason it was periodically closed down.

Canon Andrew White, who I had the honour and privilege of meeting, is the Vicar of Saint George’s Church in Baghdad. He is also the President of FRRME, who provide the support for Saint George’s.

The beautiful music is the church choir.

Also see

History of St. George’s Church

Dinner with Canon Andrew White

The plight of Iraqi Christians

August 20, 2010

Since the illegal Bush-Blair war against Iraq, Christians in Iraq have been under threat. They have a choice, convert to Islam, pay protection money, flee the country or stay and be killed.

Th churches are under attack. More than half the Christian population has now fled Iraq.

Sweden is where many of these Iraqi Christians have fled.

Iraqi Christians are now facing forced deportation from Sweden back to Iraq. A Swedish court has ruled that Iraq is safe. Safe must have a different meaning in Sweden.

Many Iraqi Christians have now gone underground to avoid forced deportation. Those who have been forcibly removed from Sweden and have been tracked have fled into neighbouring countries, had they remained in Iraq they would have been killed.

UNHCR has criticised Sweden for forced deportation of Iraqi Christians to Iraq.

Also see

End of Christianity in the Middle East?

Muslims converting to Christianity

Arrogance and greed of Tony Blair

Religion descends from tragedy into farce

October 27, 2009

Who is a Jew? One sect says you are a Jew if your mother is a Jew. You can have egg, bacon and sausages everyday for breakfast, eat bacon butties for lunch, roast pork Sunday lunchtime, never set foot in a Synagogue, but you are still a Jew if your mother was a Jew. Another sect says you are a Jew if you regularly attend the Synagogue, carry out your obligations.

Who is a Christian? Does being batptised as a baby, Holy Water sprinkled on your head, make you a Christian, even though you may never set foot in a Church again and follow the life of Riley? Or are you a Christian if you attend the Church every Sunday, lead a good Christian life, but may never have been baptised?

Does it matter, does anyone care other than those why like to argue how many angels may dance on the head of a pin?

Unfortunately it does matter to those who may wish to attend a faith-based, taxpayer-funded school.

It matters to one little girl who wanted to attend a Jewish school. She thought she was a Jew, but the school said no. Her mother is a Jew, she converted in Israel, therefore her daughter is a Jew. Or so they thought. The little girl has been brought up believing herself to be a Jew. They are recognised as Jews in Israel. But the Religious Thought Police who the school turned to decided otherwise. The case has gone to the Appeal Court and today is before the Supreme Court.

The school has decided she is not a Jew. Their judgment is handed down by God who told them who is and who is not a Jew.

Jesus, a well-known leader, welcomed all to his side, no one was turned away. But then he too had a little local difficulty with the Religious Thought Police.

If the school is determining who they let in based upon who their Mother is, then they are discriminating on race, which puts them in direct conflict with the Race Relations Act.

Another Jewish school has a different selection criteria. Theirs is a points-based selection process. You earn brownie points by attending the local Synagogue. Even Hindus can attend and get their brownie points. A bit like shopping with your loyalty card, the more you shop, the more points you accrue.

One Jewish school has a Roman Catholic Headmistress!

Are Roman Catholic schools any different? No, you will be questioned on your faith, your church attendance record will be noted.

Tough then on the single Mum with too many kids to cope with who has no time to go to church. Though the very fact of being a single Mum will itself cause problems.

In The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho, Athena struggling to bring up her child, hit problems when the Church found out she was now divorced from her estranged husband and would no longer allow her to participate in the service.

Tough on the football coach who is helping the local youth teams at weekends.

Ah well, I better get back to resolving how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.