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Wisdom and insight on peacemaking from Canon Andrew White 'The Vicar of Baghdad'
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The modern saint – Andrew White, the Vicar of Bagdad – writes from his remarkable position as peacekeeper to radical Islam, a book about reconciliation.
What casts out all fear? Retaliation, politics, how about a state-of-the-art bomb shelter? Andrew White will tell you, through many amazing stories from his church at the heart of war-torn Bagdad, that perfect love casts out all fear.
His latest book, ‘Father, Forgive’, documents his thoughts collected from his vast experience as a reconciler:
• As the current leader of the High Council for Religious Leaders in Iraq – bringing together opposing religion to refrain from violence, engage in political healing and up hold the law.
• As the ex-director of the International Centre for Reconciliation in Coventry – serving 250 ‘Cross of Nails’ centres around the world.
• As the man who answered God’s call to minister to the city torn about by violence, suicide bombers and religious hatred – to demonstrate the love of Jesus.
Andrew has structured his book around the Litany of Reconciliation, which is inscribed behind the altar of Coventry Cathedral which to this day is in ruins after the Luftwaffe Bombers – “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ.”
Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, has extensive experience of conflict mediation in Iraq and the wider Middle East. President and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, launched in 2005, he has written extensively about conflict resolution and has been involved in many hostage negotiations. He is author of The Vicar of Baghdad.
Father, Forgive by Andrew White was published by Lion Hudson in April 2013 and is our 4471st best seller. The ISBN for Father, Forgive is 9780857212924.
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Sitting in his chair, wearing a stripy bowtie, the unusual Vicar talked very naturally about bombs, bodyguards and his crippling condition to the presenter of 100 Huntley (an American TV Show). Here are the best bits which will offer you some unique insight into this remarkable scientist, pastor, father, author, peacemaker and children’s worker.
WAS HE [SUDAN HUSSAN] THE HORRIBLE MONSTER THAT WESTERN PRESS PAINTED HIM TO BE?:
“No, he was even worse. Being there in his day I can remember one day my spy, who looked after me, said ‘today you’ve got a really important meeting.’”
“I said ‘who with’, but he won’t tell me. I said ‘is it at the hunting club’, which was the club run by Sudan’s sons and he said ‘yes’.”
“I said ‘is it with the Hudia or the Quarsi’, he said ‘both’.”
“I said ‘I’m not going then’, he started to cry he said ‘if you don’t go they’ll kill me and my family’. So I went.”
“That really summed up the horrible nature of the regime.”
YOU HAVE A BODYGUARD, RIGHT?:
“They are there most of the time. They are inside the church compound and outside. All around, armored vehicles, guns behind us and in front of us… I have a high profile in Iraq. One of the things I do is direct the high council of religious leaders in Iraq, which are the main Sunni, Shia religious leaders. I bring them together, I work with them, I try and deal with the conflict between Sunni and Shia.”
HOW DEBILITATING IS YOUR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS IN ALL YOUR TRAVEL, WORK & HEAT?:
“Well, the fact is that I have got treatment for my illness in Iraq that I couldn’t get in England. It’s wonderful that when God calls you to be somewhere he will always enable you to go do want he called you to do.”
“One day a friend of mine who was an Iraqi hematologist came up to me said ‘Father, father you’re getting worse I need to make you better’. I said ‘how, everybody says that’. He said ‘oh, I’ve looked it up on Google’ [the interviewed laughs].”
“He said ‘you need stem cell treatment’. And I said ‘I know that but I have big problems because ethically I don’t like how it’s done’. He said ‘don’t worry I’m taking it from your own stem cells and I will reintroduce it into your spine and blood’. [He leans in] I said ‘doctor Raggiad have you done this before’. He said ‘no’. I said ‘when are you doing it’. He said ‘tomorrow’. He did and it completely transformed my life.”
YOU’RE ALSO A MEDICAL DOCTOR, AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST OR A GAS DOCTOR AS YOU SAY:
“A Gas Man, I can put people to sleep with sermons or drugs. [The interviewer laughs again]”
BUT YOU HAVE, ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE, A GREAT MEDICAL RESPONSIBITIES IN BAGDAD:
“We have the largest clinic in Iraq, with dentists, doctors, a pharmacy, laboratory, hematology unit, x-ray unit, stem cell therapy unit – all in our church. And so this has become a major means of showing the love of Jesus.”
“95% of our patients aren’t Christians, we treat everybody [he said with a sense of pride]. We show them the love of Jesus.”
“If there was one person in the Christian world that should write a book on reconciliation, it should be the remarkable and fearless Vicar of Bagdad – Andrew White.”
“Ministering on the front-line, Andrew is actively working for physical, political and spiritual healing for Iraq. In his revealing book, ‘Father, Forgive’, you’ll read true stories of a modern day peacemaker and be inspired by his example of active and somewhat counter-cultural reconciliation.”
|Author / Artist||Andrew White|
|Publisher||Lion Hudson (April 2013)|
|Edition||1st New edition|
|Number of Pages||176|
|Page last updated||16th February 2019|