“Christianity in Iraq is finished” says the Vicar of Baghdad

Posted by Keith Davies

Below is an interview which was done by Fox News on March 22 2017. The evaluation on Iraq and the Christian community by this Anglican Priest who lived in Baghdad for many years until he was ordered to leave by the Arch Bishop of Canterbury in 2014, when it was no longer safe for him to remain in Iraq, has stated what we have been stating for several years. The Orthodox and Chaldean church clergy have been saying the opposite because they are in denial to the reality on the ground, as I have explained to you in my last article when reported on my visit to Hungary. The Christians who now wish to flee are stuck in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey (refugees or unofficial residents because the camps are dangerous for Christians) are being manipulated by either their own church or being descriminated by the UNHCR which favor Muslim refugees due to the fact that the UNHCR is run by Muslims in these countries.

Christianity in Iraq is finished, says Canon Andrew White, ‘vicar of Baghdad’
By Hollie McKay

Published March 21, 2017
FoxNews.com
He is one of the world’s most prominent priests, but Canon Andrew White – known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” – has reached a painstaking conclusion: Christianity is all but over in the land where it all began.

“The time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some stay Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited,” White told Fox News this week. “The Christians coming out of Iraq and ISIS areas in the Middle East all say the same thing, there is no way they are ever going back. They have had enough.”

Thirty years ago, there were approximately 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. The number dwindled to around 1 million after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and a year ago it was estimated that there were less than 250,000 left. Numbers have continued to decline as families flee, and today even approximate figures are difficult to obtain.

“If there is anything I can tell Americans it is that your fellow brothers and sisters are suffering, they are desperate for help,” he said. “And it is not just a matter of praying for peace. They need a lot – food, resources, clothes, everything. They need everything.”

For decades, Christians endured persecution in Iraq by hardline extremists as infidel “people of the book” – but their fate became significantly more dire in 2014 after ISIS overran Mosul and the many ancient Christian villages surrounding the city. Thousands of families overnight were forced to flee their home, and while some have sought refuge in the northern Kurdish region, many have left the country altogether.

White earned his moniker serving as the vicar of St. George’s Church, Baghdad – the only remaining Anglican Church in the Iraqi capital – until November, 2014 when he was ordered by the Archbishop of Canterbury to leave for security’s sake as the ISIS threat burgeoned.

Help Rescue Christians provide escape and sanctuary for persecuted Christians around the world. So far we have helped over 12,000 we need to help several million, your donations will make a huge difference. Be part of the greatest rescue mission in history, click here to donate

Much of ministry over the years centered on humanitarian endeavors – yet his do-good desires have come with controversy.

Last June, White came under criticism and was suspended by the board of trustees as president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation (FRRME), the charity he founded in 2005 to bridge sectarian divisions and provide emergency relief to those affected by war. The suspension came after he made a Facebook post about freeing Yazidi sex slaves from ISIS, raising questions as to how that was achieved and if the terrorists were paid off.

The post also prompted an investigation of the foundation by the Charity Commission, the official charity regulator in England. As a registered UK charity, the organization is not permitted to engage in hostage release negotiations and it is against the law to pay ransoms to designated terrorist groups.

Nothing has come of the enquiry and White denied any wrongdoing – publicly assuring that “at no time did we pay money to any terrorists.” He has not let the controversy stop him from continuing to help those fleeing ISIS atrocities in the Middle East. He has since founded two new organizations, the Canon Andrew White Reconciliation Ministries in Amman, Jordan and “Jerusalem Merit” in Israel.

White’s ministry work in the Jordanian capital includes running a school and clinic for refugees and serving as a pastor to Christian families that have fled ISIS persecution. In Jerusalem, he is focused on relief and reconciliation amid the long-running Israel/Palestine conflict and he works directly with an array of religious groups, from Hasidic Jews and Samaritans to Christians and Muslims.

White has also been a vocal supporter of the new U.S. president. He praised Trump’s commitment to helping “persecuted Christians” and for modifying his original travel ban to ensure Iraqis can still travel to the U.S. – viewing that as acknowledgment that the two countries maintain positive ties. However, he hopes to foster dialogue with the administration and offer some suggestions to dealing with the Islamic community.

“Many have this feeling that America is against them, and they need to show that America is not against Islam, America is against terrorism,” White said, adding that by no means is he “one of those people who thinks Islam is all about peace.” “We have got to have good relations, and the U.S is in a unique and powerful position to be a force for good.”

Beyond humanitarian efforts, the central tenet of White’s work has for years been devoted to cultivating communications between Shia and Sunni leaders – and even ISIS jihadists themselves – in Iraq. Despite the constant terrorist threat, he continues to travel to Baghdad to continue his work in anti-extremism dialogue and to undergo stem cell treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, a diagnosis he received at age 33.

“A lot of these guys I have known before they were ISIS, when they were part of militias like ‘Sons of Iraq,’” he said. “They operate in secret cells all over Baghdad, and the harder the Iraqi Army attacks Mosul, the more they attack Baghdad.”

And, White stressed, there simply isn’t a “safe” way to work with them.

“It is important to find ways to engage with them, to look into their philosophies. I tried to invite some of the ISIS jihadists to dinner once,” he added. “They told me they would come, but that they would chop my head off afterwards. I didn’t think it would be a nice way to end a dinner party.”

Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

print
  • Steven

    As sad as this is, it is all to be expected as the Bible reveals our future. Many will be hated, persecuted and killed for their faith and things will only get worse and spread across the globe.

    I pray those fleeing can get somewhere safe sooner than later. Persecution will increase and many will pay the price for simply being Christian.

  • Juan

    The main goal of islam, nazism and judaism is to eradicate Christianity from Middle East and the whole Earth. No matter the fights between them, they deny Jesus and hate Christendom.

    • Keith Davies

      More Christians live in Israel today than they did 20 years ago, the opposite is true in al Muslim countries. I am a Jew and I am the director of Rescue Christians resposnsible for directing operations to save Christians from persecution. Our organzation has helped or saved over 12,000 people in 6 years. As a Christian Juan, what have you done directly done to save your brethren?

      • Juan

        Do not let your left hand to know what your right hand is doing.
        I hope from heart you accept Jesus as Messiah, Son of God and Savior. You are doing a great job but may be better converting Jewish people to the Truth. A Christian Israel would change the World ipso facto.
        Jesuchrist is the only Judge of men souls, not you or me or people reading us.
        Shalom u Brakha (also from heart)

        • Tom_mcewen

          Last time I checked God the Father is the judge and Christ is the mediator. I can see why your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing, a lot of Lord, Lord going on here. I work in homeless shelters and you do what exactly?

          • Juan

            I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible.

            And in One Lord Jesuchrist, the Son of God, the only begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our Salvation came down from Heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became a man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and HE SHALL COME AGAIN WITH GLORY TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD; whose Kingdom shall have no end.

            May be for Westerners​ Henri Dunant seems more close to God than Saint Benedict or Saint John the Baptist but this is just humanitarianism not Christianity. Saint Benedict defeat demons, about Dunant I don’t know and may God have Mercy on him.

            Do you know that Sufi tariqas in Turkey or the Baha’is also help the poors and homeless? Even atheists do it.

          • Tom_mcewen

            From what you said, to the partner of Walid, Luke 9:50 those who are not against us is for us. The helping the poor is not an option, but a commandment. This accept Jesus as the Messiah,..Sounds like voodoo magic words to me. I detest that crap.

          • Juan

            Then, do you think that to accept Jesus is voodoo and that Jews needn’t Jesus to be saved? Do they need to accept Jesus or no? Easy answer: yes or no (parroting is useless).

          • Tom_mcewen

            No I think your term is voodoo, it is just words, it is a barracks warrior saying how brave he Will be in combat. To be faithful to Jesus takes more the noises, let me know if you still defend Jesus after the NKVD has put needles under your nails and asked you to reject Jesus or when the ISIS puts a knife to your throat. You are mouthing platitudes, nothing more. That is just feel good crap, look at me I am saved. Respect has be earned with deeds not voodoo words which try to control God..

          • Juan

            Nobody is saved before the Judgment of God, I am just struggling against my own faults and sins in order to be saved. May God have Mercy on me, a sinner.
            Forget you and me dynamics. Forget parroting not knowing another person.
            You didn’t answer. Do the jews need Jesus to be saved? Yes or no?

          • Tom_mcewen

            Did the Jews like Abraham and David need Jesus to be saved? If so it will take place after they are dead. You are not parroting Orthodox teaching but Protestantism.

          • Juan

            I am very calm and not judging neither labeling you. I wasn’t talking about the Jews before Jesuchrist, Tom, but about the Jews after Him, about nowadays… my question remain still unanswered and it’s very easy: do the jews (after Jesuchrist, including of course 2017 AD) need to accept Jesus to be saved?

          • Yes, but why only ask if the Jews need Jesus to be saved?

            Why not ask: do Bábism, Bahá’í, Latter-Day Saints movement, Gnostics, Muslims, Druze, Jews, Black Hebrew Israelites, Rastafarians, Mandaeans, Sabians, Shabak, Bhaktis, Buddhists, Hinduis, Jaini, Meivazhis, Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Bábís, Yazdânis, Confucians, Shintos, Taoists, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Vietnamese, pagans, mystics, witches and occultists need Jesus to be saved?

            In all these in some way shape or form you will find people who wanted to destroy Christianity. Yet you seem to lump the Jews as one of the highest on your list. Why?

            Its because you have been hanging out (or reading) too much stuff from dogs who write about a single bone to bite.

            Most of us here know we are puppies for Christ. We know little. Yet we find so many who come in here to act as if they know everything.

            Just beware of Lucifer. He wants you to bite on a single meatless bone. I talk to Keith about my faith, but I do not talk to him as you do “hey Keith you need Jesus, get saved and avoid hellfire”.

            This is NOT the way. It takes decades at times to befriend people and to show by EXAMPLE what Christianity is all about.

            Keith asked you, how many of your brethren have you helped. He wants to know your acts of charity. It is one thing to not let your left hand know what your right hand knows, but if asked, give an answer to testify to Keith how you love Christ and your brethren. He asked you. Why not answer him? He wanted to know from EXAMPLE what type of a person you are. Are you talk or are you action?

          • Juan

            I have absolutely nothing against Keith or against jews just for being jews. I hate nazism and racism. May be Keith, looking at your example and another ones, convert to Jesus.
            Yes, not only the jews but also the Rastafarians, Druzes, Buddhists, Hinduists, Taoists, Nazis and Muslims need Jesus.

          • Fair enough brother Juan. We simply reason together here.

          • Tom_mcewen

            God IS he is not a prisoner of time nor space. There is no before or after. Space and time is a factor of this material universe which we live in, not God. You are putting limits on God.

          • Juan

            Only God is Eternal, angels are in evum and we live on a time, on the time. For a human isn’t the same to be born before Jesuchrist or after Him.
            I row my boat and you row yours but please don’t tell or insinuate the people needn’t Jesus to be saved “because God is not a prisoner of time and space”… indeed God became flesh and then Eternity conquered the time and the evum, the death and satan were defeated once and forever.
            Do Jews, as any human being now in 2017 AD need Jesus to be saved or Jews needn’t Him?

          • Tom_mcewen

            God is creator of time, Christ was sacrificed before the foundation of the world, the Eucharist is done once and spread across time, Mary was the Chaire Kecharitomeno, he controlled her salvation outside of time and space. Was Mary saved by Jesus, yes but was in 1AD? Did Jesus with his material body that Thomas put his finger in appear in a locked room, did Jesus appear from a locked womb, did Jesus vanish from view when he broke the bread, is Jesus God can he control space and time? Can the apostles forgive sins, can Jesus? Was the good Samaritan who was a heretic to the Jews judged or condemn because he didn’t know Jesus. The thief on the cross was saved, was Jesus his personal Messiah and savior before his words? Or did he go to the jail under the earth and was catechized after death as were the other people from the time of Noah? How long were they there one second, two minutes, two thousand years.

          • Keith Davies

            Juan
            Other than your chanting the Bible which I can do to, what is your left hand or right hand doing to show some evidence of your knowledge of your faith

          • Juan

            Of course Keith, we need both: faith and works to be justified in front of Almighty God.

        • Juan,

          How about going to the real experts. Those who disagree with us will say that because we want heresy suppressed, that we will want to automatically persecute Jews. This is far from the truth, because while the Jews do live in error, they are of an exceptional position. St. Paul said, “What have I to do to judge them that are without?” (1 Corinthians 5:12) In other words, it does not pertain to the Church to punish those for being in the faith that they are born into, since they were never Christian to begin with, and never broke the oath of baptism. See Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 12, article 2 As St. Robert explains the difference between the Jews and actual heretics who wish to destroy the Faith:

          “I reply, first, that the Jews never accepted the Christian faith, while the heretics did. Second, the Jews worship the religion that God established, even though temporarily, while heretics worship a religion invented by the Devil. Third, the Judaic sect is useful for the Church, for their books are prophecies of our matters, and their ceremonies prefigure our rituals: from this we prove to the pagans that we did not invent these prophecies, since they are preserved by our enemies. Finally, the Jews do not try to corrupt the Christians, in general, as heretics do.” Bellarmine, On Laymen or Secular People, ch. 22, ed. Tutino, pp. 111-112

          St. Thomas Aquinas had this same belief in regards to the care and protection of the Jews:

          “There are some unbelievers who have never received the faith, such as the heathens and the Jews. These are in no way to be compelled into the faith, so that they may believe; for belief in an act of will.” Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 10, article 8

          And in another place he says: “Those Jews who have not in any way received the faith, ought not to be coerced into the faith.” Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 10, article 8 St. Gregory believed in giving the Jews absolute freedom to observe their religion, writing in one dissertation: “They should have license to observe and celebrate all their festivals, just as they and their forefathers have observed them for long ages gone by.” Gregory, Dist. 45m c. 3: Qui sincere (CIC 1:160), in Aquinas, Summa Theologiae IIa IIae 10, article 11 In another place Gregory wrote: “those who sincerely desire to lead those outside the Christian religion to perfect faith should be careful to use blandishments, not cruelty”. Gregory, Qui sincere (Decretum D.45. 3), in Vitoria, On the American Indians, question 2, article 5, 39

          Gratian, in his canon De Iudaeis, wrote: “Concerning the Jews, the holy Council laid down that no one should use force to compel belief, since God is merciful to those He wishes, and hardens the hearts of those He wishes”. Gratian, De Iudaeis (Decretum D.45. 5), in Vitoria, On the American Indians, question 2, article 5, 39

          Most importantly it can never go unmentioned that when the Jews suffered the greatest persecution of their history — the Holocaust — it was Pope Pius XII who rescued more Jews than any other individual in history, saving over eight hundred thousand from the murderous hands of the Nazis. Yes, there have been anti-Jewish statements made throughout Christian history, but when push came to shove, and Jews were actually being killed, it was Christendom who came to their aid more than anything else. Countless Christian soldiers fought and died, and oceans of Christian blood was spilt, to save the Jews and give them the State of Israel.

      • Ratliff

        Hullo, Brother Keef…

        • Keith Davies

          Hi Ed
          Regards to you too!

        • Ratliff,

          I was wondering what happened to you. Long time no see.

          • Ratliff

            I’m lurking.

  • Grandmere

    This holy priest has also been battling multiple sclerosis (diagnosed at age 33). Satan has thrown everything including the kitchen sink. Please pray and give as you can.

  • Grandmere

    Me too Richard. Beautiful country. Strong Catholic families. They fit right in on the Louisiana bayou and we loved their cuisine.

    • Tom_mcewen

      The movie Southern Comfort comes to mind tied to the Louisiana bayou.

  • Julie

    I was reading about Iraq yesterday and the entire place looks like everyone is fighting everyone….madness….a hell hole. I think the Christians should flee this Babylon.

  • Cuzick

    Thank you Keith for the love and compassion you show in action. As ” The Asset ” for Rescue Christians , may God give you favor and protection in this work most will not do. Let us pray and support Rescue Christians so 2017 will be a record year of the lives saved from the hell of slavery and persecution.

  • Keith,

    You are correct here. But here is the OFFICIAL theological Christian standard as to how Christians need to view the Jews and there you will find ZERO of what some of these people state. Yet many people do not follow the Bible or the official Church on this issue:

    Those who disagree with us will say that because we want heresy suppressed, that we will want to automatically persecute Jews. This is far from the truth, because while the Jews do live in error, they are of an exceptional position. St. Paul said, “What have I to do to judge them that are without?” (1 Corinthians 5:12) In other words, it does not pertain to the Church to punish those for being in the faith that they are born into, since they were never Christian to begin with, and never broke the oath of baptism. See Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 12, article 2 As St. Robert explains the difference between the Jews and actual heretics who wish to destroy the Faith:

    “I reply, first, that the Jews never accepted the Christian faith, while the heretics did. Second, the Jews worship the religion that God established, even though temporarily, while heretics worship a religion invented by the Devil. Third, the Judaic sect is useful for the Church, for their books are prophecies of our matters, and their ceremonies prefigure our rituals: from this we prove to the pagans that we did not invent these prophecies, since they are preserved by our enemies. Finally, the Jews do not try to corrupt the Christians, in general, as heretics do.” Bellarmine, On Laymen or Secular People, ch. 22, ed. Tutino, pp. 111-112

    St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the most respected authorities on the church had this same belief in regards to the care and protection of the Jews:

    “There are some unbelievers who have never received the faith, such as the heathens and the Jews. These are in no way to be compelled into the faith, so that they may believe; for belief in an act of will.” Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 10, article 8

    And in another place he says:

    “Those Jews who have not in any way received the faith, ought not to be coerced into the faith.” Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae 10, article 8

    St. Gregory believed in giving the Jews absolute freedom to observe their religion, writing in one dissertation: “They should have license to observe and celebrate all their festivals, just as they and their forefathers have observed them for long ages gone by.”

    Gregory, Dist. 45m c. 3: Qui sincere (CIC 1:160), in Aquinas, Summa Theologiae IIa IIae 10, article 11 In another place Gregory wrote:

    “those who sincerely desire to lead those outside the Christian religion to perfect faith should be careful to use blandishments, not cruelty”. Gregory, Qui sincere (Decretum D.45. 3), in Vitoria, On the American Indians, question 2, article 5, 39

    Gratian, in his canon De Iudaeis, wrote:

    “Concerning the Jews, the holy Council laid down that no one should use force to compel belief, since God is merciful to those He wishes, and hardens the hearts of those He wishes”. Gratian, De Iudaeis (Decretum D.45. 5), in Vitoria, On the American Indians, question 2, article 5, 39

    Most importantly it can never go unmentioned that when the Jews suffered the greatest persecution of their history — the Holocaust — it was Pope Pius XII who rescued more Jews than any other individual in history, saving over eight hundred thousand from the murderous hands of the Nazis. Yes, there have been anti-Jewish statements made throughout Christian history, but when push came to shove, and Jews were actually being killed, it was Christendom who came to their aid more than anything else. Countless Christian soldiers fought and died, and oceans of Christian blood was spilt, to save the Jews and give them the State of Israel.

    It is this type of spirit that is becoming lost. Take Trad Cat, an associate of ours, last we communicated scathed at us for what we stand for when it comes to the Jews. I will tell you the story when we speak. Antisemitism is growing leaps and bounds, in all, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant circles.

    In other words, soon, the sons of Lucifer will come after you.