Baghdad church damaged

by
26 August 2009

by Gerald Butt, Middle East Correspondent

Crater patrol: soldiers stand guard at a crater caused by a bomb blast in front of the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad on Thursday of last week PA

Crater patrol: soldiers stand guard at a crater caused by a bomb blast in front of the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad on Thursday of last week PA

ST GEORGE’s Anglican Church was one of many buildings in Baghdad damaged during a day of bombings on Wednesday of last week. In one of the worst outbreaks of violence for many months, up to 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured when government ministries in the Iraqi capital were targeted.

Scores of buildings were hit by the force of the explosions. The Chap­lain of St George’s, Canon Andrew White, said: “One of the bomb blasts blew out every window in the church and in the clinic. No one there was killed, but several people in the clinic were injured by flying glass.”

He said that doctors from the clinic went out into the streets to help treat the hundreds of people in­jured by the bombings. “We give thanks to God that no one in the church was killed, and that our doc­tors were able to help.”

Canon White, who was in the UK at the time, said he had contacted the Bishop in Cyprus & the Gulf, the Rt Revd Michael Lewis, who had sent his love and prayers to all con­cerned.

A statement from the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East said the motives for last Wednesday’s bombings “were, in all probability, sectarian. Religious leaders wield enormous influence in Iraqi society; power that can be used for good or ill, to incite aggression, or to promote peace.” Canon White is president of the Foundation.

Although churches were not tar­geted in these bombings, Christian places of worship have been attac­ked. Last month, security at St George’s and other churches was strengthened after seven churches in the capital and one in the northern city of Mosul were bombed.

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