Vicar of Baghdad: 'When I invited Isil to dinner they said, "Yes, we’ll come, but we’ll chop off your head."
By Saphora Smith
25 June 2016
For more than 10 years, Canon Andrew White presided over the only Anglican Church in Iraq, a role that led him to be known universally as the Vicar of Baghdad.
But his old parish of St George’s has become too dangerous, and today he leads a peripatetic life, spending time with his displaced congregation in Israel and Amman, Jordan.
He is, in effect, a vicar without a parish. Recently he was to be found in Britain conducting a private service for ‘Christians in Government’ at St Margaret’s church, Westminster. For the past 17 years White, 52, has suffered from multiple sclerosis, so he would normally sit to conduct a service...
‘We are dealing with an evil, evil group. You cannot negotiate [with Isil] at all.’ The trouble is Isil’s ‘corporate identity’, he says. ‘You always hope there will be individuals [within Isil] you can get through to.’ But with a collective it’s difficult. ‘I want to forgive them, and I really hope one day we’ll be able to work with them and not against them.’the rest