Baghdad priest: Iraqis in city fear possible ISIS attack

St. George's Anglican Church Canon Andrew White on the mood in the country's capital


The fear that ISIS terrorists are on the outskirts of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad has many in the city hunkering down, including those from the city’s only Anglican Church - St. George's.

The church’s chaplain, Canon Andrew White, known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” told he has lost many church members because of this threat and now fears for his own life.

White is from the British faith-based Foundation for the Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which works in some of the region’s most dangerous areas.

“The situation is not just bad in Baghdad but the whole of Iraq … in Baghdad people are so frightened, so scared they don’t know what is going to happen,” said White.

He’s been advised by the U.S. Embassy to leave Baghdad before the security situation gets worse. “[They] have been very clear that it’s too dangerous for me to stay.”


There is growing concern that any trace of Christianity could be gone if ISIS holds onto power in major parts of Syria and Iraq. White pointed to an example in the northern Iraqi town Nineveh.

“For 2,000 years, there has been a communion every week in Nineveh and a few weeks ago there wasn’t and it hasn’t restarted. There is very little chance of it actually restarting.”

But ISIS didn’t intimidate White enough to stop him from baptizing five Iraqi Christians this week.

“Despite everything being awful, our faith continues (to be) real. There is an incredible belief and knowledge of love for Jesus and we might be in the midst of tragedy but we are also in the midst of great glory,” said White.

To critics who ask how God could cause this widespread terror, White points out that “it’s not God who causes evil, it's man [and] it’s the evil of humanity.”

White had a message for President Obama on Iraq’s current situation.

“We knew this was going to happen when the Americans and coalition pulled out, we knew it wouldn’t be long before there was a terrible crisis. Our people were not able to stand on their own … without them, tragedy has happened.”

White added, “We love the Americans and we have love for what they have done for us but we are left in such a terrible state, we cannot cope without them.”

Chris Snyder is a producer for Fox News based in New York. Follow him on twitter: @ChrisSnyderFox