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The Vicar of Baghdad: Fighting for Peace in the Middle East

By Andrew White
June 2009 | Review by Richard Atherton

Synopsis

I live with a price on my head . . . The kind of people that I spend my time engaging with are not usually very nice. On the whole nice people do not cause wars. Andrew White is one of a tiny handful of people trusted by virtually every side in the complex Middle East. Political and military solutions are constantly put forward, and constantly fail. Andrew offers a different approach, speaking as a man of faith to men of faith. Compassionate and shrewd, gifted in human relationships, he has been deeply involved in the rebuilding of Iraq. His first-hand connections and profound insights make this a fascinating document.

  • Publisher: Monarch Books
  • ISBN: 978-1854248763
  • Pages: 208
  • Price: £2.49
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Book Review

Andrew White is a most unusual Anglican minister who has been involved in peacemaking in the international sphere. This book describes his ministry of reconciliation, particularly in Iraq, and it is fascinating and inspiring.

Andrew was brought up in a Strict and Particular Baptist church and qualified as a hospital anaesthetist before feeling a distinct call from God to enter the Anglican ministry. He has retained his evangelical faith but is broad in his sympathies and displays a real love for Muslims, counting many among his friends.

He describes in almost bemusing detail the endless series of meetings, at all hours of the day and night, which are necessary to inch towards a breakthrough in peace negotiations. These are top-level meetings with the most powerful men in authority, but especially with the religious leaders who are the key to peace in Iraq.

Andrew White also describes his role as vicar of the only Anglican church in Baghdad. He arrived to see it in a derelict state with virtually no congregation, but now 1800 congregate including 500 children.

The centre section of the book contains a series of photos showing Andrew working with many Middle East leaders. He is large in physical stature (though has been afflicted with MS for some years) and is clearly recognised by others as a man of spiritual stature.

His faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is central to his life and he declares that the single most important factor in promoting peace is a genuine love of people. This is a truly inspiring book.

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Middle East

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