Wednesday, October 01, 2014

ISIS at the gates of Baghdad

Islamic State fighters are on the verge of entering Baghdad. 

Canon Andrew White, known as the vicar of Baghdad, reported on Monday that IS militants were only a mile from the city, and had killed more than 1,000 troops during the weekend.

"All the military air strikes are doing nothing," he said. "If ever we needed your prayer it is now.

"People are very fearful. The nation looks as if it has collapsed. The usual hectic and crazy streets were this morning almost empty. The news from our friends in areas surrounding Baghdad is equally worrying. . .

"We do not really know what is happening; all we know is people are very afraid. We know that civilians have been killed in air strikes; we know that there are huge battles with ISIS; and we know that our army is not very efficient.

"This morning I was with one of my soldiers who is assigned by the government to protect me. I asked him what he would do if he saw ISIS coming. He told me he would take off his uniform and run. So I asked if he took seriously his role as a soldier to fight and protect his people; he assured me he did not. He told me he just did it because he needed the money.

"Yesterday at church I spoke on the subject of why we must love Israel. . . Quite an interesting title for a sermon in Iraq. The sermon was based on Romans Chapter 11: 'Do not boast over the root, for the root supports you.'

"The sermon was well received. . . Because Abraham is so important to us here the issue of the Yehudi and us is taken very seriously. Despite being in Iraq I love the Jews and Arabs, Israelis, Palestinians and Iraqis and God loves them all too.

"I received a barrage of postings from people, whether they hated Israel and saw them as anti-Palestinian or they were totally for Israel. What people failed to understand was that loving Israel was far more than love for a state. It was love for a people. . . 

 "Though we can see that we are called to love Jews and Arabs alike, but that loving Israel is not an option for those of us who love Yeshua. We must not forget the history. We as Christians have got to accept that our theology was responsible for the development of antisemitism.

"I spent hours yesterday just answering questions on the subject. I am not going to answer any more."

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