Grim reality of life for Baghdad church members

THE GRIM reality of life in Iraq was spelt out for St Albans churchgoers when the Vicar of Baghdad visited on Sunday. Canon Andrew White, who is based at St George s Anglican Church in the Iraqi capital, told worshipers at St Paul s Church in Fleetville a

THE GRIM reality of life in Iraq was spelt out for St Albans churchgoers when the Vicar of Baghdad visited on Sunday.

Canon Andrew White, who is based at St George's Anglican Church in the Iraqi capital, told worshipers at St Paul's Church in Fleetville about what it was like conducting services to the sound of bombs exploding and bullets flying in the street.

Nearly 60 members of the congregation have been killed in the past six months and Canon White spoke about how he had to travel to church with armed bodyguards.

All the staff at the church were murdered four years ago and as a result it is filled with many women and children who have lost their husbands and fathers in the conflict.


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He explained: "Each week we start the service by asking what has happened in the past week. We find out who has been kidnapped, who has been shot, how many people have encountered violence on the streets. We live with the reality that any of us could be killed at any time."

The visit was organised by the Rev Lionel Wallace, Pastor of the St Albans-based Living Waters International Fellowship, and it came just two days after Canon White had joined former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey in appealing for the release of five British hostages held in Iraq for more than a year.

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The Vicar of St Paul's, Canon Tony Hurle, said after the service: "It was a real inspiration and delight to have Andrew White with us and to hear how God is at work in one of the world's most dangerous cities.

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