By BosNewsLife Middle East Service
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife)-- An influential Anglican leader in Iraq said Saturday, August 24, he was thinking of the Bible's
warning not to be alarmed amid warfare as dozens of people were killed nearby in the capital Baghdad, while neighboring Syria was rocked by apparently new chemical weapons attack revelations.
Canon Andrew White, who leads St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad, also said he was not surprised that that scores had died in an apparent chemical weapons attack in neighboring Syria.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said Saturday, August 24, that hospitals it supports in Syria treated some 3,600 patients with "neurotoxic symptoms", of whom 355 had died.
MSF's disclosure added to mounting concerns that chemical weapons were used in suburbs to the east of Damascus on August 21.
However, "Over ten years ago we knew that Iraq's chemical weapons had been sent to Syria and knew who had flown them," said White, who has been negotiating with governments and other factions in the region in turbulent times.
WEST WAS WARNED
"We told both the US and UK that Iraq's [Weapons of Mass Destruction] were no longer in Iraq but Syria. But did they believe me?", he wondered in a statement on his Facebook website monitored by BosNewsLife.
White said he was also concerned about spiraling violence near his church. He said he had been thinking about Bible verse Mark 13:7: "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come", as he watched carnage nearby.
"This [Bible verse] was what we looked at in the US Embassy this morning. We are living in the midst of these wars and rumors of wars but we do not fear because our Lord is near. Just late last night we had a major bomb in our vicinity killing over 40 people," he explained.
Christians have been in the crossfire in both Iraq and Syria amid rising Islamic extremism, according to local churches and activists.
Thousands have fled Iraq and Syria, and refugee camps struggle to cope with the influx of new refugees.
(BosNewsLife, the first truly independent news agency covering persecuted Christians, is 'Breaking the News for Compassionate Professionals' since 2004).
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