Another Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action is back in the news. Reverend Canon Andrew White, often called the ‘Vicar of Baghdad,’ was just awarded the International First Freedom Award. The award is given out once a year by the First Freedom Center, whose mission is to “advance the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.” Reverend White is in good company, past winners of the prestigious award include Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, and another Tanenbaum Peacemaker – Father Elias Chacour.
White is best known for his work in Iraq. He is the head of Baghdad’s St. George’s Anglican Church, the largest church in the country. In this role he tirelessly works to broker a better understanding between Baghdad’s Christian population and the city’s Muslim community. However, his work is not limited to the easing of tensions between Christian and Muslims in Iraq. Reverend White has been vigilant in his fight against the persecution of all religious minorities in the Middle East.