Well-known Anglican priest who had served in Iraq, said that Christianity virtually disappeared from that country. Andrew white known as the “vicar of Baghdad”. He was head of the Anglican Church. George one of the most turbulent periods – after the US invasion in 2003. According to him, the country today has become so dangerous for Christians that many are leaving it and not going back. White also says that soon the time will come when Iraq will not remain a single Christian. But the main CBN international correspondent Gary lane has a different opinion on this issue.
MAN: Gary, you don’t agree with priest white, right? Why?
Yes, with all due respect to Andrew white. As I know, in Iraq there is the underground Church. Evangelicals went underground, but they remain there. And they continue to work on the streets, leading people to Christ. In addition, tens of thousands of Yazidis and Muslims who do not have residency and have been displaced within the country, are now in Northern Iraq. And guess who serves them and brings many to Christ?
I was in the churches. You too. We saw that many of the people who fill the Church are former Muslims or former Yazidis. They come to Christ. So, I disagree. Maybe the traditional Church is in decline, Anglican and others, but I think that God is doing in Iraq is something new.
MHN: But white mentioned very hostile conditions that complicate the life of Christians.
Yes it is. Christians is not much. Some left, because I want to be salt and light in Iraq. If everyone leaves, who will stay and be the salt? Some continue to serve.
MHN: do You believe that the Church, which at some point will be back?
I think it will be energetic and strong Church. I believe that God does a circumcision to get rid of the dead branches. Christ said that He will create a new, and I think that’s what He is doing today in Iraq.
MHN: you HAVE a different perspective on the persecuted Church, and what happens when the Church is persecuted.
Yes. I think we need to look at things eternal and not temporary. In the flesh we say, “Oh, stop the persecution. We need to stop the suffering and pain.” Yes, no one welcomes persecution, but Christ said that as His followers we will be persecuted. We can expect that, because the world first hated Him, and he will hate His followers. But the good news is that Jesus uses it and builds His Church, and that is what we see in Iraq.
MHN: let’s talk about that specifically here in the West, can make the Church to support our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East.
I know that those with whom you met and with whom I met, always the question: “What can we do for you?” the answer is the same. They always say that the most important thing is prayer. And then they can say, “Well, the Bible also will not be superfluous.”
Prayer and the Bible. Yes, get on your knees and pray for these people. But to confirm our faith by our works. Do something to help. Now a lot of homeless Iraqis. There are many organizations that provide assistance such as “CBN Disaster Relief”. We go there and help them. Help and many other service, for example, “Suma Samaritan” and “Operation blessing”.
Support refugees, help them, because they are deprived at home. They need shelter, they also need food, clothing, water, education for children. Simple things.
So, why would your Church not to join and not to sponsor some of the Iraqi families, to help them? Let’s help them first there, and then those who come here, will not be afraid. Reach out and show them the love of Christ.