Case of Andrew White exposes hazards of charity work in a war zone.

Andrew White, best known as the former vicar of Baghdad, Iraq, has been cleared of criminal charges for allegedly paying Islamic State terrorists to redeem Yazidi sex slaves.

“For one year I have been under police investigation in response to a serious incident report submitted by FRRME to the Charity Commission indicating that I had paid money to ISIS terrorists in order to redeem sex slaves,” said White, 54, who pastored Baghdad’s St. George’s Anglican church until leaving in 2014 after ISIS offered a $57 million bounty for him. “This information was not true and finally, this month the case was officially dropped and I have been cleared from any further police investigation.”

Starting in 2014, ISIS terrorists overran the Yazidi enclave on Mount Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan. They abducted thousands of women and girls from this pre-Islamic religious minority and sold many as sex slaves. This action caused a handful of human rights activists independently to attempt buy-back redemptions of slaves. But anyone who channeled money to terrorists could be subject to criminal prosecution.

In June 2016, the UK Charity Commission began an inquiry after White’s charity, FRRME (the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East) published a statement on its website suspending White and raising questions about “an alleged incident.” On Facebook, White wrote that this incident involved his actions to secure the release of sex slaves. “We never gave the bad guys one penny,” White said.

But by the end of 2016, White was gone from FRRME, although he and the ministry gave different explanations. FRRME said his departure was due to ill health due to White’s multiple …

Continue reading

from Christianity Today Magazine https://ift.tt/2y3yhIY
via IFTTT