Canon Andrew White, Vicar of St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad, shares a Christmas message describing the situation in Iraq.
My dear friends,
There are not words to describe the carnage, terrorism and sheer pain of Iraq yesterday. Not for four years have we seen this level of violence in Baghdad. Everybody has been affected. Even people not injured in this tragedy are filled with trauma and pain. So many people have been affected. Baghdad is hurting. People of all faiths and backgrounds are in tears. The bombs did not just affect one area but the whole of Baghdad.
This is clearly a result of political tension and distortion. To have the Prime Minister put out a warrant for the arrest of the Vice President is most serious and looks like a rise of the Shia Sunni divide. A week after the US troops left we are facing huge disaster.
Whilst the world is celebrating Christmas, Baghdad is hurting and burning. In no way were Christians targeted in these attacks. They appear to mainly be targeted at the Shia, but Sunnis were killed as well and everybody in the church is also hurting.
Once again the call we are called upon to stand with and to help those caught up in this disaster. Thank you for standing with us as we do so.
For me the pain is so difficult. I am torn. I desperately want to be there with the people I love, but at the same time I want to celebrate the joy of Christmas with my family in England.
The news of Christmas is still one of love and joy, because love came down at Christmas. It is only this fact that keeps us going in Baghdad. Despite the tragedy of the moment, our Lord is still here and His Spirit is still with us. Even if we lose everything, we still have our Lord Jesus who came to us at Christmas.
Catholic midnight Christmas masses have been cancelled because of the deteriorating situation in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq.