Christians baptised in Iraq in spite of threat from Islamic State

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Canon Andrew White, known as the vicar of Baghdad, said yesterday that he had baptised a family of five, as Islamic State (IS) militants circle ever closer to Iraq's capital.

In an update on Facebook, Canon White said "despite the tragedy all around us we are so aware of the presence a glory of G-d [sic].

"We had a great joyful event today as I baptised a mother and her four young children. What a joy it was when the 10-year-old came up to me after the Baptism and said 'I feel all new now I am all different' and he was."

Canon White told Anglican News Service that "people really wanted to demonstrate their faith", despite the danger of doing so.

"It was lovely baptising them and the children were so excited...In the midst of such a desperate situation it was wonderful to have something which was so nice."

Reports stating the current location of IS militants as they close in on Baghdad have varied over the past few days.

The BBC's Lyse Doucet reported on Monday that members of the terrorist group were less than 10km away from the city in the early hours of the morning.

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East then reported at around 6am GMT that IS militants were "less than 2km away from entering Baghdad".

"The crisis here with ISIS/L continues but their movement toward Baghdad has been pushed back," Canon White said yesterday.

"At one point yesterday they were said to be within a mile of Baghdad. Now the Intel tells us they are 20 miles away from the Capital."

"So many people have asked how they can help us," he continued.

"There are only two things we need. First and most importantly we need prayer that the presence and protection of G-d will remain with us and secondly we need funding to provide the needs of our people."

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