BAGHDAD CHRISTIANS FACE A FESTIVAL OF PERSECUTION

216898_11.jpgTHE congregation receives death threats, there are 35 soldiers manning the perimeter fence and the vicar ­travels to work with 12 bodyguards in three armoured vehicles. Welcome to Christian worship, Baghdad-style.

In the last year St George’s in Iraq’s capital has been bombed four times but the “very ugly and very solid” church is still standing.
Its Anglican vicar, Canon Andrew White, and his parishioners are also standing firm despite a horrific escalation in sectarian violence aimed at driving Christians out of the country.

WIN A LUXURY CRUISE FOR TWO WORTH £2,500!

In the last month alone 100 ­Christians have been killed in Iraq by Shia militia and Sunni insurgents supportive of Al Qaeda. In October, 58 people were killed ­during evening mass at the Syrian Catholic church of Our Lady of ­Salvation in Iraq.
St George’s, Iraq’s only Anglican church, has had its windows blown out in four separate bomb attacks.
It is deemed too dangerous for any Iraqi Government employee to visit and when the British Ambassador paid a call, he came with air support.
Canon White, dubbed “the Vicar of Baghdad”, goes to work wearing body armour and members of the congregation are frisked as they go in. It is a ­testament to the power of their faith that they return week after week.
An estimated 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq at the time of the 2003 war. Since Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled that number has plunged to 600,000 as families flee a horrific wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.
In August, 2004, a series of bombings against five churches left 11 dead

Read more: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/216898/Baghdad-Christians-face-a-festival-of-persecutionBaghdad-Christians-face-a-festival-of-persecution#ixzz17uC542F7

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/216898/Baghdad-Christians-face-a-festival-of-persecution