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ISIS free to kill as world focuses on Gaza, vicar warns, as family of 8 murdered next to open Bible

As conflicts in Gaza continue to hold international attention, an Anglican vicar in Baghdad notes that worsening conditions in Iraq seem to have been forgotten. Acting with utter impunity and brutality, the self-proclaimed Islamic State recently murdered a Christian family of eight for refusing to convert to Islam. The vicar received a picture of the family lying in a pool of blood next to their open Bible, which he described as “too awful to show anybody.” He appealed for support for the relief organization he directs, and continues to ask for prayer.

By Cath Martin

8/4/2014 Iraq (Christian Today) – The vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq fears ISIS is literally getting away with murder in Iraq as the world turns its gaze to fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Canon Andrew White, vicar of St George’s church in Baghdad, said in a newsletter published by the Catholic News Service that ISIS was free to do what it wanted as the world’s attention remained fixed on the latest conflict in Gaza.

ISIS militants have taken over Mosul and other parts of Iraq, causing thousands of Christians to flee after they were told to convert, pay a jizhya [“protection”] tax or else be killed.

Canon White said that although the situation was serious for Iraqis under ISIS, it was “very easy to feel forgotten.”

“The Islamic State simply said we can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza,” he wrote.

“In reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here.

“It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares, that is, apart from you, our supporters, who never leave us and keep supporting us in every way,” he said.

In a new blog post, Canon White gave harrowing details of the reported murder of a family of eight Iraqi Christians.  He said the picture he had received of the brutal killing was “too awful” to post to his blog.

“You know I love to show photos but the photo I was sent today was the most awful I have ever seen,” he said.

“A family of 8 all shot through the face laying in a pool of blood with their Bible open on the couch. They would not convert it cost them [their] life.

“I thought of asking if anybody wanted to see the picture but it is just too awful to show to anybody. This is Iraq today. The only hope and consolation is that all these dear people are now all with Yesua in Glory.”

He is appealing for funds to support the relief work of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which he directs.

The organisation is working through Iraqi churches to help those who have fled from ISIS-controlled Mosul and Nineveh.

“We give thanks to G-d for all you have enabled us to do. We move forward and know we have just begun and know with your help and the Lord’s direction we will make great advances,” he wrote.

“Pray for our perseverance that we and our people will not give up the spiritual fight before us.”

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