‘Vicar Of Baghdad’ Predicts End Of Christianity In Iraq
Anglican Church priest Andrew White says Christians are leaving Iraq at such a rate that the Mideast country could be bereft of believers in the near future.
The “Vicar of Baghdad” told Fox News this week that the end is near for Christianity in Iraq.
“The time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited,” White said. “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.”
Iraq was once an island of Christian influence in a Muslim sea. About 1.4 million Christians lived there 30 years ago. The number dwindled to around 1 million after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and it’s been downhill ever since, with an estimated 250,000 remaining now.
There is no reason for optimism on the horizon, the canon says.
“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.”
Christians are no strangers to persecution in Iraq, being labelled as infidels by Muslims but the hatred they experienced from Islamic extremists intensified with the rise of ISIS and its assumption of power in Mosul and the surrounding Christian villages. Thousands escaped to safety in the Kurdish section of northern Iraq, but many just departed the country.
White first became known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” when he was the last remaining Anglican priest in Baghdad, serving as the head of St. George’s Church.
White left in 2014 under orders from Anglican primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who said the vicar needed to get out because his life was in danger.
He has continued to assist those fleeing from ISIS barbarism.
White is a unapologetic fan of President Donald Trump, whom he says is committed to helping persecuted Christians.
White applauded Trump’s revised temporary travel ban when it excluded Iraq from its list of banned countries. He would like to play a role in the Trump administration as someone who understands the Muslim world and who would like to ensure that the U.S. and Iraq maintain close and friendly contact.
“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 he will never be “one of those people who thinks Islam is all about peace.”
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