Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, was pleased this week to welcome the Reverend Canon Dr. Andrew White, Emeritus Vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, Iraq, to NRB’s Capitol Hill office. Canon White shared about the troubles and persecution Christians are facing in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, as well as information about efforts to provide relief to these brothers and sisters in Christ. Canon White’s organization, the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME), is particularly focused on aiding those who have fled the violence of ISIS into Northern Iraq and Jordan.
"Severe persecution against members of the Christian family is very real," Dr. Johnson remarked after the meeting. “Many Christians in the Middle East are in or have fled situations of grave danger. Christian leaders in the United States need to stand up against the violence, acts of intimidation, and suffering facing our brothers and sisters in Iraq and around the world.”
Dr. Johnson, who has repeatedly emphasized the need for solidarity with persecuted Christians in the Middle East, added, “As we turn our minds this season to Bethlehem and the hope of the coming of our Lord, let’s be sure to remember our faith family now in that region and what we can do to help them.”
In addition to serving the spiritual needs of Iraqi Christians, FRRME provides medical and dental care to those in need in Baghdad, regardless of their faith. Moreover, the organization has expanded its food, shelter, medicine, and education efforts to refugees in Kurdistan, Jordan, and Lebanon. Canon White also founded the Jerusalem International School of Reconciliation to serve as a platform for understanding and reconciliation among Middle Eastern Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders.
In an interview last month with the Anglican Communion News Service, Canon White stated, “We need prayer and we need practical help. We can’t do this work with nothing…. We need prayer for protection; we need prayer for perseverance, so we can keep going; we need prayer for provision, so we can provide for the needs of the people; and we need prayer for peace.”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published:December 4, 2015