The “Vicar of Baghdad”
Christianity and the Anglican church in Baghdad
After many years of coverage of Iraq on the television I was surprised to see reference to an Anglican church in Iraq, because I was convinced that the country was completely based on the Muslim religion, with the main two sided Shia, and Sunni always fighting each other.
Iraq, if you follow the news is still considered a dangerous place, and yet some of the major airlines regularly fly through its air airspace, and so the other day when flying north from the Middle East I was able to look down on the very different countryside of Iraq.
Iran to the East is mostly high ground, mountain regions and few obvious signs of habitation other than the main cities. Saudi Arabia to the West by contrast is sand.
Iraq was very green and seemingly flat. The two major rivers Euphrates, and Tigress were clearly visible, and over Baghdad you could see what must have been one of the grand palaces of Sadaam Hussein. All the pictures I have in my mind are from that which I have seen in the paper or seen on the television.
What struck me was the sudden idea that there could be an Anglican community, and from the story which was being covered, the Vicar of the church in Baghdad had been instrumental in the release of the hostage Peter Moore.
I looked up on the magic website the Anglican church in Baghdad, and there discovered the history of Christianity in Iraq, and the role the church has played in the past, and the work it continues to do today.
The Vicar, Andrew White, suffers with Multiple Sclerosis and has seen many things during his work. Until now it has not been interesting to show such an image of Iraq, but now it makes news. If only we could show good in the world rather than sensationalist detail.
By Bob Derham