From First Things, a web-exclusive. And simply one of the best short bio pieces you’ll read the entire day. Dr. Andrew White: Thanks for being a Christian.
If Jesus came back to the Middle East today, I think he would look a lot like the Reverend Canon Dr. Andrew White, the Anglican Chaplain in Iraq and Vicar of St. George’s Church. The “Vicar of Baghdad,” as he is called, carries out his work in one of the world’s most dangerous cities. He does the kinds of things every pastor does: He preaches, performs weddings, baptizes, offers communion, gives counsel and comfort to his congregation, makes mince pies for his church members at Christmas. He also presides at funerals—lots of funerals. One Sunday on his way to morning worship at the church, Canon White counted sixty dead bodies strung up on lampposts and discarded along the road, victims all of the latest round of post-invasion sectarian violence.
Who is Canon Andrew White, and what does he think he is doing in a place like that? He answered that question in the opening words of a speech he gave not long ago at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. “I need to be perfectly honest with you,” he said. “I love Iraq more than any other place in the world.”