Wednesday, September 28, 2005

5 Iraqi Anglican Church Leaders Missing, Presumed Dead

Nine days ago, several of the Bishops of the Church of England published a proposal for the leaders of the Anglican church in Britain to get together and apologise on behalf of their nation for the Iraq war.
In the report, the bishops plead for more “understanding” of what motivates terrorists. They criticise Western democracies as “deeply flawed” and accuse the US of dangerous expansionism.

The bishops, who strongly opposed the war in Iraq, want Christian leaders to express their repentance in an “act of truth and reconciliation” for the West’s contribution to the problems in Iraq.
In a horrible error of timing, it now turns out just days before they published their proposal, that the entire lay leadership team of the main Anglican church in Iraq disappeared, and are now presumed dead, after failing to returned from a church conference in Jordan. Apparently, at this point in time, with no ransom demand yet delivered, hopes that the team was kidnapped are fading.
Those missing include Maher Dakel, the lay pastor; his wife, who leads the women's section of the church; their son Yeheya; the church's pianist and music director, Firas Raad; the deputy lay pastor; and their driver, whose name has not been disclosed.

Canon White, until recently the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Middle East, and who helped reopen St George's in Baghdad after the Iraqi war in 2003, said: "We are all devastated. This is the very core of our Anglican Church in Iraq. With such a large congregation of about 800 strong, losing key leadership will be devastating.
Although it is rarely discussed among the chattering classes, many of us who keep track of such things already know that members of age old Christian denominations in both Iraq and Palestine have suffered terribly by the hands of Al Qaeda and the PA and its terrorist cohorts.

Given the mindset of a certain segment of the leadership of Britain's Anglican Church, I expect this, too, if it turns out, tragically that the Iraqi Anglicans were murdered, will not be faced as the act ofindubitable Jihad that it is. And will eventually be blamed on the US and UK's effort to help free Iraq from tyranny, bringing it into the free world.

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