Magazine article Anglican Journal

Spy Accusation Forces Vicar to Flee Iraq

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Spy Accusation Forces Vicar to Flee Iraq

Article excerpt

Baghdad

(ENS) -- An Anglican vicar who was working to secure the release of five British hostages in Iraq fled the country on July 11 after being denounced as a spy.

Canon Andrew White, who ran Iraq's only Anglican church, left Baghdad for London amid fears for his safety, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported.

The five Britons' abductors reportedly threatened to kill them unless the vicar stopped trying to find them. The captives, four security guards and a consultant were abducted on May 29 from the finance ministry in Baghdad. They were seized by insurgents disguised as Iraqi police.

Mr. White left Baghdad after pamphlets dropped in Shia areas of the Iraqi capital reportedly branded the vicar as "no more than a spy," the BBC said. The priest was based at St. George's Memorial Church in Baghdad.

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, of which Mr. White is executive director, confirmed he had left Iraq because of a "serious security threat."

Meanwhile, Mr. White recently testified before the U. …

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