of bomb damage to St George's:
I am very sorry to tell you that the two major
bomb explosions in Baghdad this morning (25
October, 2009) have
done serious damage to the church compound,
the clinic, thebookshop, the school rooms and
the mothers' union buildings.
The windows were replaced after the
bombings on 19 August, but they have been
destroyed again, and this blast hit the church
much more powerfully. Even the window frames
and the doors were blown out. All of the cars
in the compound and the Danish Memorial were
the clinic? The St George's clinic provides
free medical and dental treatment to people in
Iraq, regardless of their religious or ethnic
background. It is staffed by a team of medics
representing each of the Abramic faiths:
Muslim, Christian and Jew. It contained high
quality medical equipment provided by
charitable donations to the Foundation for
Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
In a moment, much of this equipment has been
destroyed, placing it permanently out of reach
of the Iraqi people who need it so
Outside the church, at least 132 people
were killed and over 600 injured. Many of the
dead were thrown into the church by the blast.
Many of our staff and church members remain
unaccounted for. Lay Pastor Faiz and I have
been trying in vain to reach them by
As of last night, it appears that all staff
and lay volunteers escaped with their lives.)
Today was a terrible day for us. But
even in the blood and trauma and turmoil,
there are things for which we can, and indeed
must, praise our G-d. The carnage was
terrible, but it could have been even worse.
- At 10.30am this morning, when the
bombs exploded, there was no-one in the
church. If the bomb had been just a few hours
later, the glass from the windows would have
ripped through the congregation causing
terrible human damage.
Yesterday an enormous tree fell down outside
the church, which prevented the suicide bomber
from detonating his explosives where they
would have caused maximum damage.
Some people ask us whether days like today
make us want to give up. We have seen much of
what we have worked for destroyed. We have
seen people we love bereaved. But the truth
is, it is days like today that remind us why
our work in Iraq is absolutely essential.
We must continue to provide a place of
worship for Iraqi Christians. We must
continue to treat the medical needs of Iraqi
civilians. And we must continue to engage
with the senior religious leaders from across
the sectarian divides, working with them to
challenge the belief systems that lie behind
this terrible slaughter.
We will not
stop because of this. Will you stand with us
and help us to restore what was destroyed?