The Church in One Small Corner of Post-War Iraq

Author: Clare W Henton


 Picture a baby attempting to stand for the first time: unsure and wobbly, feet a little unsteady and hands clenched firmly to its mother’s fingers, it strains to rise. Slowly, with much effort and concentration, knees straighten and an amazed infant beams a smile of accomplishment at the realisation that it’s standing on two feet. Remaining upright is quite another thing. It flops back to the ground with a thud, returning to what it knows best, crawling or being carried. It is too soon to think about walking…or is it?

This is how I would describe the church in the small corner of Iraq where I have had the privilege to come and go over the last six years. This is a picture not of the Orthodox Church which has been present in Iraq for centuries: Orthodox Christians account for approximately three percent of Iraq’s population.

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