THE ministry of Canon Andrew White to the Anglican
community in Baghdad has become a victim - for the time being at
least - of the Islamic State (IS) surge in the country.
Canon White, the Chaplain of St George's, Baghdad, is now in
Jerusalem, after leaving Baghdad on the advice of the Archbishop of
"Sadly, things are not looking good for an imminent return to
Baghdad," he wrote on Facebook on Sunday. "My dear friend the
Archbishop of Canterbury has made clear that my profile is so high,
I am British, and very pro-Israel, which would place me at
incredibly high risk should IS get near Baghdad. At the moment they
are not, but who knows what could happen. This will mean that I
will not be able to return to Baghdad yet."
In an interview with Premier Christian Radio on Tuesday, Canon
White described himself as "really stupid. . . I have no concept of
fear. I'm not frightened of anything; so I have to listen to people
who are wiser and more sensible than me, like the Archbishop of
Canon White said that Archbishop Welby had taken "the right
decision. There is no guarantee that I will be safe. There is no
guarantee that Baghdad won't fall. At the moment, it is in the
hands of the Iraqi government; but, if it did fall, and I was
there, I would fall as well - or my head would. God often talks to
us through other people, and God is saying to me: 'Get out, you
Canon White said that most of all he would miss the young people
of Baghdad. "I'm really going to miss my youth, my young people, my
children. That's what I'll really be in tears about."
He reported on Facebook that, during his absence from Iraq, he
would "concentrate more of my effort on Gaza and Palestine, for
that is what I feel God wants me to do. I love the Palestinians
just as much as I do the Israelis, and they so need our help."
Canon White, who was diagnosed 16 years ago as suffering from
multiple sclerosis, left Iraq for a time in 2007, after threats to
his life. Since then, however, he has repeatedly expressed his
determination to remain at his post, despite the mounting
Question of the Week - Is military
action against IS just?