In a moving message on Facebook, Canon Andrew White, the Anglican vicar of Baghdad, writes that Christians in Baghdad have nothing left but the “refugee child” Jesus this year.
White writes movingly: “I will never forget the day in Baghdad when we had some visitors. They had come to see what it was really like for Christians in Iraq. They were so surprised by how happy the thousands of people were in our congregation. ‘How can you be so happy when you are surrounded by suicide bombs, mortar rockets and such violence?’ One of our young people answered the statement. ‘You see when you have lost everything, Jesus is all you have got left.’
“All you have got left is the love of that refugee child. That to us in the Middle East is all that matters this Christmas.”
White, who had to relocate to Bethlehem after threats to his life, also writes about the refugee tents the church has set up to care for Christian suffering at the hands of ISIS.
Christians have been dismissed from their hometowns in there hundreds of thousands. They have fled in their masses to the very North of Iraq fleeing the onslaught of the terrorist group known as ISIS. There for weeks my staff team have fed and clothed, provided mattresses and cradles for the thousands and thousands of internally displaced people.
This Christmas season, we who celebrate in the safety of the West, let us not lose sight of the true meaning of this special holiday. To quote Canon White’s closing statement:
Christmas is a time when we should never lose the meaning of this Christ Child who came to us so that by simply trusting in him we will have a life filled with hope and purpose and love. He is still with us 2000 years after he first came. This Christmas let us not forget that he so loves us that we must love him and in response our life will be changed forever.