In a recent interview with U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times, Canon Andrew White said Christianity in Iraq is in danger of being completely eradicated by ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
White, known to Iraqi Christians as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” is the leader of Iraq’s only Anglican Church. He is now in the U.K., forced to flee after ISIS placed a $57 million bounty on his life.
His fears are backed up by recent reports that show just how dramatically Christianity has declined in the country under the persecution of ISIS. The Economist notes that there were around 1.5 million Christians in Iraq before 2003, but some experts estimate there may be as few as 200,000 left.
White also noted that Christians in the West “are not waking up and listening to the reality of what is going on.”
“It is a life-and-death situation, and it’s the life and death of our people,” he said.
White said he wants to one day return to Baghdad, but he hopes people in the West see how desperate the situation has become for the victims of ISIS: “These are our people. We are Christians. And so are they.”
###How to Help
Here are a few organizations helping displaced people in Iraq:
Preemptive Love Coalition – Helping provide clothing, housing, education and legal help for families suffering persecution.
Doctors Without Borders – Providing urgent medical care for displaced people in Iraq.
World Vision – Working to provide displaced Iraqis with food, water, sanitation, shelter and safety.