Friday, May 11, 2007

Anglicans in Baghdad


Did you know that there is an Anglican Church in Baghdad? I didn't, and found this interview with Canon Andrew White (President and CEO, Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East and Vicar of St. George's Anglican Church, Baghdad) on PBS's Religion and Ethics page quite interesting. Here are some highlights:

ABERNETHY: Before I ask you about the situation generally, just tell me a little bit about what it's like in your church.

Canon WHITE: The church is clearly the most wonderful church I've ever been part of, and everything might be terrible outside, but inside the worship is incredible. The children are amazing. And we've had 11 of our staff killed in the past year. Our lay pastor was kidnapped last week, so everything is terrible outside, but inside -- just great.

ABERNETHY: And what's the most important thing that needs to be done now to reduce the violence in the country?

Canon WHITE: One of the most significant things that we have got to do is engage with the religious and tribal leaders. We realize that much of the violence and insurgency has religious and tribal background, in fact is instigated by them. And so we're working very hard in engagement with the religious and tribal leaders, working closely with the Pentagon, with the Tanenbaum Center in New York, trying to find ways in which we can move forward on the Sunni/Shia engagement.

ABERNETHY: And when do you think American troops can come home?

Canon WHITE: If American troops were to leave now, sadly we would see an escalation of violence. We have got to see that we were part of its instigation and by overcoming the evil regime of Saddam Hussein. So we've got to be patient. We have to be willing to endure further tragedy, and the only way forward is when we see peace returning to Iraq.

Read it all.

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