The 'Vicar of Baghdad' encounters daily tragedy. What happened to his faith when a young girl in his congregation died, after much hope and prayer? He has met the best and worst: articulate, agreeable imams and rabbis; Christian venality and dishonesty. What has kept him willing to see the best? Every time he returns to Iraq he may be saying goodbye to his family for the last time. What do they think? He suffers from MS. How does he remain cheerful despite his physical weakness, and its progression? What does he say to God, alone in his study, late at night? He has been caught up in momentous events. Can he see the hand of God? Looking ahead, can he be optimistic about the future? Where are his sources of spiritual energy? He solicits prayer: why? 'Not everything God calls us to do is painless,' he comments. 'Much of my work is simply about showing love to the unlovely.'
Canon Andrew White, the vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, has extensive experience of conflict mediation in Iraq and the wider Middle East. President and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, launched in 2005, he has written extensively about conflict resolution and has been involved in many hostage negotiations. He is author of The Vicar of Baghdad.