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Updates from Baghdad; ISIS takes over Churches as Headquarters

As the violence escalates in Iraq, it has become increasingly dangerous for Christians living there. A man well acquainted with these dangers is Canon Andrew White, known as The Vicar of Bagdad. For more than a decade, Canon White has served not only as Vicar of St. Georges Church, but he's also become a key liaison between the Sunni and Shia Muslims in an effort to promote reconciliation.

According to Canon White, the situation right now is "so terrible that you can't even put it in words." ISIS has completely taken over the whole country. While they might not be in Baghdad, they are all around it.

ISIS stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is an unrecognized state and active jihadist militant group in Iraq and Syria. In its self-proclaimed status as Caliphate, it claims religious authority over all Muslims and aspires to bring much of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its direct political control.

Canon White has heard in the news about the destruction Shia Mosques and how ISIS had taken over the churches instead of tearing them down, using the churches as their headquarters.

His ministry is currently still keeping their clinics, schools and relief work going. The only difference is that they are finding themselves serving a lot more people now as an increasing number of people are getting displaced due to the unrest and violence.

"There is great danger, great difficulties, great violence, but we do not lose hope. Because that is all we have. We have nothing else…when we have lost everything, Jesus is all we've got left."

Please continue to keep Canon White and his ministry in your prayers as they are living in precarious times.

Pray for God's protection over the ministry and its workers as well as for all who lived in Iraq and Syria. Pray for provision as the ministry needs to continue to function and serve the community at risk. Lastly, pray for the perseverance, that they will never ever give up.


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