Anglican Vicar of Baghdad: ‘Child I baptized cut in half by ISIS’

By ACNS staff
Posted Aug 8, 2014

[Anglican Communion News Service] The five-year-old son of a founding member of Baghdad’s Anglican church was cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State1 on the Christian town of Qaraqosh.

In an interview Aug. 8, an emotional Canon Andrew White told ACNS that he christened the boy several years ago, and that the child’s parents had named the lad Andrew after him.

Photo: Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East

Canon Andrew White Photo: Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East

“I’m almost in tears because I’ve just had somebody in my room whose little child was cut in half,” he said. “I baptized his child in my church in Baghdad. This little boy, they named him after me – he was called Andrew.”

The fact that Andrew’s brother was named George after St George’s Anglican Church in Iraq’s capital demonstrates the strong ties the family had to the church there. The boy’s father had been a founder member of the church back in 1998 when the Canon had first come to Baghdad. White added, “This man, before he retired north to join his family was the caretaker of the Anglican church.”

Baghdad is part of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, which is included in the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, a member church of the Anglican Communion.

Though the move north should have proved safer for the Iraqi Christian family, the Islamic State made sure that it became a place of terror. “This town of Qaraqosh is a Christian village so they knew everybody there was part of their target group,” said White. “They [the Islamic State] attacked the whole of the town. They bombed it, they shot at people.”

The Islamic State group captured Qaraqosh overnight Aug. 6/7 after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces.

ISIS, which has been called a “brutal, extremist group” and which claims to have fighters from across the world, announced the creation of a “caliphate” – an Islamic state – across its claimed territory in Iraq and Syria a month ago. There is a BBC background report here and one from the New York Times here.

The boy’s family, along with many other townspeople, has now fled to Irbil. However, news reports suggest this may be the Islamic State’s next destination.

Anglicans at the forefront of relief
The violent takeover of parts of Iraq by the Islamic State is threatening to bring about what the United Nations has said would be a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the beleaguered nation.

White said that Anglicans there have been working hard to provide a lot of support for the Christians who have fled Mosul and Nineveh to the north, as well as the many other minority groups targeted by the Islamic State.

“Anglicans are literally at the forefront of bringing help in this situation and there’s no-one else,” he said adding that the church is supplying much-needed food, water, accommodation and other relief items thanks to financial contributions from supporters overseas. The church’s activities are led by a Muslim, Dr. Sarah Ahmed.

“We need two things: prayer and money. With those two we can do something. Without those we can do nothing.”

As regards prayer, White said, “I have three ‘P’s that I always mention which is for protection, provision and perseverance. We need protection, we need to provide for those people and we need to keep going.”

It’s clear from social media posts on Facebook and Twitter that members of the Anglican Communion right across the world are praying for this situation. Many have also indicated their support for persecuted Christians in Iraq by changing their social media avatars to the Arabic symbol for “N” denoting Nazarene, which ISIS has been using to identify Christian homes.

Leaders speak out
In recent days, Anglican leaders from countries including Egypt, Wales, Brazil and South Africa have all expressed their dismay at the situation unfolding in Iraq.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby issued this statement Aug. 8 on the situation in Iraq, shortly before he travelled from the Philippines to Papua New Guinea.

Other Christian leaders have also spoken up about the situation in Iraq including Roman Catholics, who, in England and Wales, have designated Aug. 9, as a Day of Prayer for Christians in Iraq. The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Aug. 7 wrote to the United Nations, following an emergency meeting of patriarchs, calling on the UN Security Council to “fulfill their responsibilities in stopping this genocide.”

Those wanting to assist the church in Baghdad can find more information here.



Comments (64)

  1. David Stewart says:

    Unfortunately, as nice as it sounds to state that a diplomatic solution is needed, those stating such demonstrate the problem of modern liberalism and segments of protestant liberalism in failing to understand genuine radicalism under the cloak of religion. Far too often such people wish to place all religions on equal footing in terms of truth claims, while ignoring core beliefs, which are radically different from Islam to Christianity to the Eastern mystery religions. And too often in the case if Western liberalism and Protestant Liberalism, if someone is committing terrorist even genocidal attacks, then we in the West must have done something. All the while, they ignore that in the case of the Jihadists that they are merely following in the footsteps of Mohammed and seek to expand the territory ruled over by Islam beyond the glory days of the Ottoman Empire, when that entity ruled large parts of the known world that had formerly been ruled by Rome and Byzantium. Unfortunately, it seems that the only religious people that political and religious liberals have a problem with are Evangelical or other Traditionalist Christians in the West who espouse traditional, Christian orthodoxy, be it Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Orthodox in nature. Then, those individuals are treated as if they were Islamic Jihadists seeking to take over the world, even though that is further from the truth.

    Scripture rightfully places temporal power to execute justice, including through making war, in the hands of the state, while the OT Prophets and the NT Church served as the conscious for warning against unjust war. Clearly, some sort of military action with the intent to win is needed as ISIS and its supporters have demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to establish their power. That action is the purview of the state. The Church must do what it can to help the displaced by pressuring the state to provide protection and the Church utilizing uts resources to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people.

    Lastly, had the peace at any price crowd had their day in 1939, the history of the last 75 years would have been much different as most of Jewish Europe who have been exterminated, along with Evangelical Christians, gypsies, homosexuals, those with physical or mental birth defects, and a whole host of others that the Nazi and Facist regimes deemed undesirable. So, while a diplomatic solution sounds nice and Christianly, in dealing with the Jihadists, such a solution by the state will not work. These people are going to have to be dealt with with a greater resolve than that of the war against Hitler and his allies. In fact, this will be one that will require the resolve of truth the Cold War to overturn the evil that the Soviet state represented to mankind.

  2. Dorothy Holmes says:

    Another group on the front lines helping those fleeing this atrocity is SAMARTAN

  3. Dorothy Holmes says:

    Another group on the front lines supplying food and water to those escaping from the atrocities is the SAMARITAN’s PURSE ORGANIZATION. The are doing food and water drops to these people, and will be on the ground with help as soon as they are able. You can contact them @ They have a phenomenal record of helping in many disasters around the world. They try to work through the local churches in the areas.
    In the meantimeWE CAN ALL PRAY!!

  4. Peter Szolkowski says:

    I am so upset and angry to read of the atrocities that are being committed by ISIS. What kind of scum can behead a child, let alone anybody else, who will have tears in their eyes, fear in their hearts and most likely be pleading with their executioner not to kill them. This country needs to show the same will and determination to protect these Christian people as it does when it’s interests abroad are threatened i.e. as in oil! ISIS will never be stopped with diplomacy, only with force. I notice that these utter cowards hide their faces. Is that so they can’t be identified for crimes against humanity? Everybody thinks this sort of thing will never happen here…. It will, sadly it’s just a matter of time. I have a family and grandchildren and I will protect them no matter what it takes.

  5. John Fisher says:

    ISLAM has done this before. It took 400 years for Christians to respond to Islamic aggression and conquest!
    This was a military expedition by European Christians to regain the Holy Lands taken by the Muslim conquest of the Levant, which resulted in the re-capture of Jerusalem in 1099

    Here is a chronological listing of Islamic conquests prior to the first Crusade…

    Year Event

    613 Persians capture Damascus and Antioch

    614 Persians sack Jerusalem

    633 Muslims conquer Syria and Iraq

    635 Muslims begin the conquest of Persia and Syria

    635 Arab Muslims capture the city of Damascus

    636-637 Arab domination of Syria

    637 Arabs occupy Ctesiphon

    637 Jerusalem falls to Muslim forces

    638 Caliph Umar I enters Jerusalem

    639 Muslims conquer Egypt and Persia

    641 Islam spreads into Egypt

    641 Muslims conquer Alexandria

    649 Muawiya I leads raid against Cyprus sacking the capital Salamis-Constantia

    652 Sicily is attacked by Muslims

    653 Muawiya I leads raid against Rhodes

    654 Muawiya I conquers Cyprus

    655 Battle of the Masts

    661-680 Mu�awiya moves capital from Mecca to Damascus

    662 Egypt falls to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates

    667 Sicily is attacked by Muslims

    668 First siege of Constantinople

    669 Muslim conquest reaches Morocco

    672 Muslims capture the island of Rhodes

    674 Arab conquest reaches Indus River

    698 Muslims capture Carthage

    700 Muslims raid Island of Sicily

    711 Muslims conquest of Sindh in Afghanistan

    711 Battle of Guadalate

    712 Conquest of Andulusia

    715 Muslim conquest of Spain

    716 Muslims captured Lisbon

    717 Cordova becomes capital of Andalusia (Spain)

    719 Muslims attack Septimania in Southern France

    721 Muslims cross the Pyrenees

    722 Battle of Covadonga First defeat of Muslims by Christians

    724 Muslims raid southern France and capture Carcassone and Nimes

    725 Muslim forces occupy Nimes, France

    730 Muslim forces occupy Narbonne and Avignon

    732 Battle of Tours (Christian Victory)

    735 Muslim invaders capture Arles

    750 Abbasids move capital to Baghdad – Map of extent of conquest at this point

    756 The Emirate of Cordova is established – Another map of conquered territory

    759 Pippin III ends Muslim incursions in France

    792 Hisham I calls for a Jihad Thousands heed his call to cross the Pyrenees to subjugate France. Many cities are destroyed

    813 Muslims attack the Civi Vecchia near Rome

    816 The Moors support the Basques against the Franks

    827 Sicily is invaded by Muslims

    831 Muslims capture Palermo and make it their capital

    838 Muslim raiders sack Marseille

    841 Muslim forces capture Bari (in Italy)

    846 Muslim raiders attack areas near Ostia and Rome. Some enter Rome and damage the Churches of St. Peter and St.Paul. The Leonine Wall is built to discourage further Attacks.

    849 Battle of Ostia (Christian Victory)

    850 Perfectus, a Christian priest in Muslim Cordova is executed one of the first of Many

    851 Young Christians are executed for insulting the Prophet Muhammed

    858 Muslim raiders attack Constantinople

    859 Muslim invaders capture Castrogiovanni slaughtering several thousand

    869 Arabs capture the island of Malta

    870 Muslim invaders capture Syracuse

    876 Muslims pillage Campagna in Italy

    879 The Seljuk Empire unites Mesapotamia and a large portion of Persia

    884 Muslims invading Italy burn the monastery of Monte Cassino to the ground

    900 The Fatimid Dynasty assumes control of Egypt

    902 The Muslim conquest of Sicily is completed when the Christian city of Toorminia is captured

    909 Sicily comes under control of the Fatimids

    909 The fatimid Dynasty assumes control of Egypt

    909 Muslims control all the passes in the Alps between France and Italy cutting off passage between the two countries

    920 Muslim forces cross the Pyrenees, enter Gascony and reach as far as the gates of Toulouse

    972 The Fatimids of Egypt conquer North Africa

    981 Ramiro III, king of Leon, is defeated at Rueda

    985 Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir sacks Barcelona

    994 The monastery of Monte Cassino is destrpyed a second time by Arabs

    997 Under the leadership of Almanzar, Muslim forces march out of the city of Cordova and head north to capture Christian lands.

    997 Muslim forces burn Compostela to the ground

    1004 Arab raiders sack the Italian city of Pisa

    1009 The Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is destroyed by Muslim armies

    1009 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah orders the the Holy Sepulcher and all Christian buildings in Jerusalem be destroyed

    1012 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah orders the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship in his lands

    1012 Berber forces capture Cordova and order that half the population be executed

    1015 Arab Muslim forces conquer Sardinia

    1064 The Seljuk Turks conquer Christian Armenia

    1070 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem and begin persecuting Christian Pilgrims

    1071-1085 Seljuk Turks conquer most of Syria and Palestine

    1071 Battle of Manzikert

    1073 Seljuk Turks conquer Ankara

    1078 Seljuk Turks capture Nicaea

    1084 Seljuk Turks conquer Antioch

    1086 Battle of Zallaca

    1088 Patzinak Turks begin forming settlements between the Danube and the Balkans

    1090 Granada captured by Yusuf Ibn Tashfin

    1091 Cordova is captured by the Almoravids

  6. Jeff Daniels says:

    All these wars and atrocities committed in the name of religion. Maybe the world would be a better place without religion and everybody lived by the Golden Rule.

  7. Julian Malakar says:

    My prayer to Almighty God, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to open up hearts and minds of our Muslim brothers and sisters who claim to be decedent of Abraham thru Ismael, eldest son of Abraham born by Egyptian salve woman Hagar, to know merciful and kindness of our Creator, God the Almighty.

    How do ISIS being Muslims kill God’s creation of mankind multiplied to six billion thru single 1st family Adam and Eve, when God Himself gives his abundant love to all mankind by providing us rain, sunlight etc. to sustain our daily life whether we believe Him or not? Why do all Muslims not fight against ISIS, Al-Qaida who kills innocent people by the name of Creator (Allah), when God set judgments for Himself for all people at Final Judgment Day? FYI Muslims also believe in Final Judgment Day and return of Jesus Christ (Isa Nobi) to judge all living and dead. Killing innocent people by the name of Allah (God) is blasphemy and all Muslims must fight along with people of all faiths. Muslims in Europe, America must show solidarity with victim families in Iraq, Syria where even children are beheaded because of believing God of love, righteous and kindness. Muslims should demonstrate on the street as they did for Gaza peoples’ suffering in recent war. Pope said Almighty God cannot do devil’s acts of destruction. If Muslims believe in true God of Merciful and Kindness, and Islam is religion of peace, they must denounced hatred and killings. May God open up inner eyes of those who prosecute innocent people!

  8. Doug Desper says:

    It is more than overdue that this latest genocide by Islamic jihadists has caught the attention of most of the world — finally. Yet, the scrolling, apparently “more important”, story here on ENS is of the ordination of women decades ago. I call it out. It is imbalanced and inordinate attention — too much in fact — to have the predictable American Episcopal justice issues of women, LGBT, or other “fight the power” stories trump the mass extermination of Christians as though it is some curious backstory of interest to someone somewhere else. The Archbishop of Canterbury has called us to hold fast to the faith and embrace with the Iraqis the derogatory Arabic “N” being used to identify them for attack. Where is that as a lead story? Where is our identification with the justice issue of their being allowed to survive as Christians? The silence of the Presiding Bishop reveals all that one needs to know. But on ENS one can mainly find old, bygone recollections of 40 years ago as the main topic of attention garnering the most visible space. I, for one, will be so glad when The Episcopal Church Center moves out of that very parochial mindset called Manhattan and joins the rest of the known world.

  9. Sandra Lewis Pringle says:

    Dear Father, in the name of Jesus, I agree with all those praying about this terrorism going on in Iraq and elsewhere. Father God,
    we know that the enemy is very jealous of those who look to You every day, who worship You, and adore You. We place all the innocent people who are caught in this snare, to be divinely guarded and protected in every land involved. Father, may Israel be able to annihilate those enemies who are encroaching upon their land. Remove this Isis group in Iraq, divinely, with a host of Your warring angels in the night. Father, remove those from the face of the earth who are killing innocent families, because of their worship of You. We beseech You to guard and protect all borders of every nation and that all infringement of immigration
    policies be ceased, and even here in America, as well. Father, it’s time for Christians to be vigilant and to post elders at the city gates in every community. We ask that the terrorists’ ability to gather weaponry and ammunition to cease and desist and that those who are supplying the ammunition for these attacks to come to a bitter end, themselves. Father, dig up the root of all this activity and remove them from their ability to deceive and connive with these barbarians. Father, send forth angels to lock up weaponry, so that they will not fire or kill. In the name of Jesus, we pray together, agreeing and believing for Your mighty power to come to the rescue of all those being slaughtered and that not one more Christian shall be harmed. We rely upon You now, and we thank You for answering our prayers of faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen

  10. Suzy Andrews says:

    This article also helps us to consider what we read and what we share:-

  11. Richard Sequeira says:

    ISIS and Al Qaeda is from Satan and the Devil in their thought word and deed.
    Jesus said ” Those who live by the sword will die by the sword ” Similarly those who live by bullets and bombs will die by bullets and bombs . That is how ISIS will die . ISIS is not Muslim but Satanist and Anti Christian and also Anti Muslim . About two weeks ago, they demolished a Sunni Mosque that was built over the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah. They have demolished over 8 Sunni Shrines and many Shia Shrines , they have burnt many churches some over 1800 years old . They are nothing but terrorist who are Muslim in name and Satan in game . They have destroyed `1800 year old churches in Iraq and Syria and killed 1000s of Muslims . They are so terrible that a terrible terrorist organization like Al Qaeda has banned them . They are the lowest of the low . Any moderate Muslim in Iraq, Syria , the world will agree to that . Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Koran . It is mentioned that He was born through the will of God . through the power of the Holy Spirit through virgin birth, That He is a sinless human being , That He is alive in the present , That in His name the sick are healed , The Demons cast out and the dead come back to life , He is called Word of God and the Spirit of God . Who can be the Spirit of God ? Except Gods Son ? Would the Word of God ever lie ? Never ! Jesus Himself said ” God is my Father , He sent me to give the Good News to the World . He said he is the way the truth and the life .He is Jesus the Christ the ONLY SON of God what these ISIS terrorist and their likes are destroying is what belongs to Jesus Christ and they are doing this by being the instruments of the Anti Christ and Satan . It is truly shameful that Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi who claims to be a PhD in Islamic studies does not know the truth about Jesus Christ and Christianly , and Mohamed and Islam . All He wants to be is the Caliph of the Islamic Caliphate that he and his fanatical followers have declared in Iraq and Syria , the Islamic State of Iraq Syria . Can you imagine what will happen if they get entrenched in this area in Syria and Iraq, then in the Arab world and then MENA . It already makes the AlQaeda and Taliban look like small and insignificant groups. We must pray that with the help of God they are defeated and that all the fighters who are fighting them Muslims , Christian and Jews win this war against terrorism that is affecting the whole world.

    Jesus said In John 10:10 . I came to give you life and life in abundance. The others who came before me were liars , thieves and murders . Jesus was talking about Satan and his followers . That is who Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi and his followers are liars, thieves, murders , rapist, and Satanist. They DO NOT worship God in Spirit and in Truth , but Satan and his lies . They will die the same way and they have lived with the sword and the gun , and also others like them in MENA .

    1. Ruth Kornell says:

      Dear Richard everybody should know that according to Islam Jesus was a Muslim prophet and preached Islam not Christianity . That is why they have no tolerance to the Christians and to the Christian way of worship. The old testament and the new testament as well undergone ultimate conversion to Islam in the Quran. That’s why they are not tolerant toward Jews as well. The Christian religion is an idolatry in the eyes of Muslims. Also every single peace of land that was conquered by the Muslims in some time in history has “one way ticket”only: it’s joining the territory of the “house of Islam” (DAR-AL-ISLAM) and becomes a “WAQF”; a holy place which can be only under Muslim ownership mastery and domination for ever and ever. Jews and Christians could be tolerated on these territories for the best only in the status of “D’HIMMA” a second class citizens not equal to the Muslim masters while paying a special ignominious tax praising their Muslim masters. For the worse to convert to Islam or to dye. There is a lot more in the list of regulations made by Caliph Umar Ibn Al Hattab on this specific topic. That’s why the Muslim countries will never ever accept the Jewish state no matter what. They will fight it because the land the whole land TO IT’S LAST INCH is an Islamic WAQF. The same will be with Spain and Portugal and Sicily and Greece etc. etc. The Muslims’ desire to revive the 7th century today is taking place in Africa Syria Iraq Livia Tunisia Yemen and Gaza. But it seems that most of the western world does not care.

  12. Julian Malakar says:

    Civilized societies of the world don’t need verification of each and every picture of atrocities committed by ISIS or Islamist Jihadist, like Al-Qaida. Well publicized shooting of Pakistani teenage school girl Yousafzai Malala at point blank in a school bus, kidnaping of 300 Nigerian teenage school girls, beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, 9/11 in USA, 7/11 in UK, Spain train bombing etc. speak volume for Islamist Jihadist about what they can do by the name of their god (allah). Enough is enough now is time to fight against evils unitedly to bring peace in the world. God, the Almighty is with us.

  13. Nadeem Bhatti says:

    My heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their close relatives and dear ones under Christian Persecution in the Muslim countries. I have experienced severe persecution myself and seen many close friends and relatives murdered in Pakistan.

    Church bomb attacks, Christian communities are set on fire in last few decades since Pakistan’s Blasphemy laws were reformed.

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