A prominent Anglican priest who is known as the Vicar of Baghdad is asking people this week to pray that General David Petraeus becomes the next Secretary of State.
Writing Thursday on his Facebook page, Canon Andrew White said: "Please Please pray that Gen. David Petraeus becomes the next US Secretary of State."
President-elect Donald Trump's consideration of the retired general is considered particularly controversial in that Petraeus pled guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. In November 2012 it became public that Petraeus had an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell and gave her highly classifed information. He resigned in disgrace from his post as director of the CIA, at the time.
But Petraeus' past actions have not deterred Canon White, who is British, from vocalizing support for the general who attended his Baghdad church when he was stationed in Iraq.
"I know there have been some problems with him at times but he was a most wonderful member of my congregation in Iraq, I loved him," White said in reply to a commenter on his Facebook post who had asked him to elaborate.
"Petraeus was amazing in Iraq and a member of my congregation. Trump one thing I know is he is a man of action and can make things, what things who knows?" White noted in response to another commenter who was not convinced Petraeus was the best choice and wanted to know what White expected of Trump.
White was the vicar of Saint George's Church in Baghdad but left Iraq in 2014 due to threats from the Islamic State. He has extensive experience of conflict mediation in Iraq and the Middle East, and has often written about conflict resolution having been involved in many hostage negotiations.
As The Christian Post reported just over a year ago, at a lunch hosted by the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Democracy, White said that he believed that the terror attacks in San Bernardino and around the world amounted to the start of a third global war.
"On a day after those events in California yesterday, those awful, terrible events, we realize that the destruction of religion is not just over there, [in the Middle East], it's here where you are," White said at the time.
"What we are seeing going on, what we saw in Paris, what we saw yesterday in California, is, as far as I am concerned, the beginning of the third world war. It's unlike any concept of war we may have had before. Society is falling apart. It's not just Iraq that is broken — It is society."
"We talk about ISIS, and it is easy to blame ISIS, ISIL, DAESH, or however you want to call them, for everything. But, they are just part of the problem. The problem is far bigger than one extremist organization...That one extremist organization will have influence throughout the world and so many people are now looking to that group as a means of salvation and a means of identity. Why? Because they, as Muslim, have lost influence and lost power," he continued.
White's autobiography is called My Journey So Far..