Just one day after addressing terrifying claims that Islamic State militants are just miles from Baghdad — the Iraqi city where he has served since 1998 — Canon Andrew White, vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church, announced that he baptized five Christians in the Iraqi capital.
"I have baptized five people today. One of the Christian politicians came to me and pleaded with me to Baptize a mother and her four children," White said on his Facebook page Wednesday. "I listened to them and it was clear they all loved Jesus. I therefore baptized them all."
He continued, "Afterwards the 11 year old boy came up to me and said I feel new, I said you are."
In an interview with Anglican News Service, White, who also runs the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, an interfaith relief group, said that threats from the Islamic State are one of the reasons that Iraqi Christians have been seeking baptism.
"People really wanted to demonstrate their faith and that’s good," he told the outlet. "Publicly identifying oneself as a Christian is a particularly courageous move in a country where [the Islamic State] has been intentionally targeting religious minorities."
White gave few details about the mother and her children for fear that they would face retribution for their actions, but said that the woman, who was raised Christian, came from a mixed Christian-Muslim background.
"In the midst of such a desperate situation it was wonderful to have something which was so nice," he told the Anglican News Service.
The faith leader has been sharing updates on his Facebook page, expressing fears over recent reports that the Islamic State is just miles away from Baghdad.
On Thursday morning, though, White said that he recently spoke with the British ambassador who informed him that militants are 50 miles away and that the capital is currently safe.
The Anglican leader told TheBlaze in late August about the desperate situation religious minorities face at the hands of brutal and merciless Islamic State militants.
“You cannot deal with these people. They’re so evil. You cannot talk to them You cannot win them over,” he said. “That is a terrible thing. How do we cope in this horrendous situation? How do we move forward?”
As TheBlaze has reported, Christians in the areas captured by the Islamic State have purportedly been offered three options: convert to Islam, pay a tax or abandon everything and leave.
(H/T: Christian Today)