‘Vicar of Baghdad’ defies ISIS with humor

The Independent has an interesting story on Cannon Andrew White, a church leader in Baghdad. Here is an excerpt:

They were coming for him and his people. Friends were being killed or fleeing for their lives. So Andrew White did what he always does when faced with an enemy. “I invited the leaders of Isis [Islamic State] for dinner. I am a great believer in that. I have asked some of the worst people ever to eat with me.”

This extraordinarily self-confident priest is best known as the vicar of Baghdad, leader of a church in the chaos outside the protected Green Zone. He made his offer last year as the terrorist forces threatened to take the city. Did he get a reply?

“Isis said, ‘You can invite us to dinner, but we’ll chop your head off.’ So I didn’t invite them again!”

MS also affects his vision and his balance, but he claims to have come up with his own way of keeping the symptoms down, by injecting his own stem cells. A big man with a boyish enthusiasm, he declares himself afraid of nothing, not even the direct threat to his life. “They’ve not sent an email telling me it’s off,” says White, 50, chuckling and looking at his travelling companion Terry, a former policeman. How does it feel to have that price on his head? “It feels good.” Terry raises his eyebrows and mutters, “While the head’s attached.” It’s knockabout stuff, but let’s put this in context. White reopened St George’s church after the invasion of Iraq even though civil war raged and the diplomats and ex-pats who had once made up the congregation no longer dared to go there.

Source: Canon Andrew White: ‘Vicar of Baghdad’ on leading a church in Iraq and being in the crosshairs of Isis | People | News | The Independent

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