Canon Andrew White, St George’s Church of England Foundation School, Broadstairs, Kent,
4 June. Report by Iris Watson
The strong reputation of Iraq based, wheelchair-bound, Canon Andrew White (the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’) drew hundreds of Christians from several denominations.
He spoke of the vast number of slaughtered Christian friends he has personally lost and of the 100,000 Christians in prison in North Korea. One man, who had smuggled Bibles into North Korea, was executed; the barbaric cruelty that followed also took the lives of his family, while the remainder of his relatives, young and old, were imprisoned.
A group of Christian girls has been rescued from Isis after they texted their local priest.
Under the headline of ‘Divine intervention’, the Sunday Express reported that seven girls had been “miraculously saved” from jihadists. Church leaders thought …
There were gasps, followed by tears at a small church in northern Iraq as a group of Christians returned to their parish Sunday November 13 to find that everything had been destroyed, including the statue of the Virgin Mary, which Islamic State …
Homes, shops and churches destroyed in Lahore, Pakistan, as police look on. © persecutedchurchnews.blogspot.co.uk
3,000 more killed than in 2015 – and that doesn’t even include North Korea, Syria and Iraq
Global persecution of Christians has risen to around 100 million, according to Open Doors, the charity supporting persecuted Christians.
It also reveals that North Korea tops its World Watch List for the 14th consecutive year, as the most difficult place to be a Christian.
The Open Doors website (opendoorsuk.org) says: “The persecution of Christians has increased… across every region in which Open Doors works… Religious extremism – Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist – is the greatest source of persecution of Christians.”
This paper has reported extensively on the devastating impact of Isis on Iraq’s civilians, including the scandal of our government only taking refugees from UN camps which Christians are scared to enter.
But now we have a positive story! Larry Gentis from West Sussex spent a week in Erbil, Kurdistan, teaching music to Christian refugees and venturing to give marriage tips in a very different culture.
After the EU and Council of Europe recognised the slaughter of Middle East Christians by ISIS as genocide, the US Christian campaigners American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) urged the UN and President Obama to follow suit.
Once the terror group’s 21-month vicious rampage through Northern Iraq and Syria is recognised as genocide, human rights agreements oblige participating governments to respond.
Now is the time to make your voice heard
Christians in Iraq and Syria are experiencing genocide. Last issue we included a petition for Barnabas Fund’s Operation Safe Haven to send to the Prime Minister.
But until Christians in the Middle East are safe, we need to keep urging our government to work directly with the Christian community. Our Government has refused to take refugees from anywhere but the UN-run camps, which are predominantly Muslim, so Christians have been avoiding the camps and fleeing to safer areas, preferring to camp on church premises.
Now Wilfred Wong, a barrister with 26 years’ experience of campaigning for persecuted Christians worldwide, most of whom live in the Muslim world, has written a letter for readers to use as a model to send to the Prime Minister.
Read how Samara and Yochana are seeing their visions become reality
Samara Levy is married and has two children aged three and six. She is well-known in Sussex for her work in sending aid to refugees.
What’s your vision?
To see the Church being the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16) through clothing the naked, caring for the sick and feeding the hungry.
In moving scenes at Prague airport, the first of 37 families rescued from Iraq arrived in late January.
Majid Rashid, one of the first ten arrivals, expressed relief: “For Christians, life is very hard in Iraq, we could describe it like living hell.”
He declared: “For us living in Iraq means giving your life and accepting death moment after moment.”
Christians across Syria and Iraq are struggling to survive. The advance of Islamic State (IS) has made an already devastating situation worse. Kidnappings and killings of Christians are on the increase, and some Christian women and girls have been enslaved.
Yet despite impassioned pleas from Christian campaigners, the British government will only bring in refugees from UN camps. And the UN’s camps are dangerous places for Christians – IF they escape the clutches of IS to arrive at one.
Two Archbishops and the Vicar of Baghdad have failed to persuade Mr Cameron to do more for Syrian and Iraqi Christians who face death daily. Now it’s your turn