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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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He drives to church in an armourplated car, escorted by 25 members of the Iraqi Army. As he preaches, he and his congregation are protected by soldiers cradling machineguns. Each week, familiar faces disappear — kidnapped, abducted or blown up by a suicide bomber. And each week politicians, generals, Muslim clerics and desperate mothers stream in to St George’s Anglican church to beg the help of an English vicar in ending violence, promoting dialogue and negotiating the release of hostages. For Canon Andrew White, fighting for peace has an all too literal meaning. His parish is the most murderous in the world: Baghdad.
He knows that he could be killed any day, but insists that the thought has never once troubled him. He takes few unnecessary risks, however. As the violence steadily grew worse in 2005, 11 of his church staff were kidnapped, shot or simply disappeared. Reluctantly, at the British Ambassador’s urging, he left his riverside house and moved into the fortified green zone and a trailer in an underground car park. It became too dangerous even to officiate at St George’s: services were held either in the Prime Minister’s office (a tribute to the esteem in which a Shia Muslim held this English Anglican) or that of an Iraqi friend. Baptisms were often conducted with a red plastic washing-up bowl.
He is simply an amazing and courageous man. I hope all blog readers have seen the 60 minutes piece on him. Read it all.
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