A profile of Andrew White: Wanted by God, but wanted by killers too

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest News* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Economics, PoliticsIraq War* International News & CommentaryMiddle East

Posted January 27, 2009 at 8:44 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

How can this be?  He is surrounded by the “Religion of Peace”!  All the MSM and politicians have gone to great lengths to inform and reasure us of this “fact”.  Islam is “peaceful”...as peaceful as the battlefield after a war.

January 27, 9:56 am | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

At the top of my list of heros.

January 27, 10:14 am | [comment link]
3. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

Those of you who read books as well as computer screens might want to read White’s “Iraq: Searching for Hope” published by Continuum in 2005

January 27, 11:30 am | [comment link]
4. Byzantine wrote:

Well unfortunately, we let ‘em hang the one guy who kept a lid on the Muslim fundies.

January 27, 11:57 am | [comment link]
5. John Wilkins wrote:

#1 well, sick and tired, I don’t think he spends a lot of time mocking Muslims and complaining about their religion.  He spends a lot of his time engaging them and building their trust.

January 27, 3:46 pm | [comment link]
6. MargaretG wrote:

... and John, is that the reason why he has to go about in an armoured car, and have services surrounded by machine guns ?

Sounds like “engaging them and building their trust” is a neat way to go!

January 27, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
7. Carolina Anglican wrote:

In his book, mentioned in #3, he shines a light on the behavior of muslim clerics.  The majority had been very helpful with his causes and desired peace.  He was successful in forming a profound group of religious leaders in Iraq who agreed to work toward peace.  They have continually been obstructed by extremists not by the majority of muslims in Iraq.  I have rarely if ever been as impessed by a person as I was by Canon White.  Here is the link for his book:


January 27, 7:43 pm | [comment link]
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