What a privilege!
This week the Foundation were excited to help arrange pats of the Archbishop of Erbil's visit to London, and to help ensure he had access to speak directly to people who can help bring about the necessary change to better support the Christian community in Northern Iraq.
I was delighted to arrange for Archbishop Wada, at the invitation of long-term supporter of the Foundation, Fr. Jamie Hawkey, Canon of Westminster Abbey, for a lunch with the Abbey's Canons and priests to raise awareness of the plight of the Christians to leading Anglicans on the edges of UK Politics. The lunch was followed by a tour of the Abbey, and prayers for the Christian's of Iraq at the National Shrine of St Edward the Confessor
In addition, through our advocacy and engagement we were able to arrange fro the Archbishop to meet with the Prime Minister's Religious Affairs Advisor as well as representatives from DFID and FCO at a meeting at No. 10 Downing Street. This raised the issues of the needs of the communities in Norther Iraq, and the limited direct impact seen by UK Aid. Criticisms of the central Iraqi aid programmes, and UN support were also made, calling for more, faster, direct support to those most in need on the ground - something the Foundation strives to do with our contributions.
There will always be compromises between the needs of the community in Iraq, and the policies of the UK government in its broader aid and support to people in need. We will continue to make the case of the moral duty to prevent persecution, both physical, emotional and financial, and ensure a long future for Christian Witness in Iraq.
Thanks to ACN who arranged for the Archbishop's visit to London, and to all those who helped make the visit a success. We look forward to continuing to pressurise the government to more, direct support to the Church in Iraq as it works hard to support its people.