Chinese Delegation Explores Religion in Egypt

Last week Archbishop Mouneer Anis, the Archbishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, welcomed a Chinese delegation from the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) led by Mr. Jiang Jianyong, Vice Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of China. They had a number of important meetings during their visit to discuss religious affairs in both Egypt and China. They were accompanied by Dr. John Chew, former Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in South East Asia and current Vice President of the United Bible Societies (UBS), and Mr. Kua Wee Seng, the UBS China Partnership Coordinator. The group discussed with Archbishop Mouneer the situation of the Church in China, Bible printing and theological education in China. The delegation was keen to learn how Christian citizens in Egypt serve their community, and they were impressed by the bridge-building work of the Egyptian church.

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During their stay in Cairo, Archbishop Mouneer took the delegation to meet with Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark. During the meeting at the Patriarchal See of Saint Mark in Cairo, Pope Tawadros briefly outlined the history of the Coptic Church and its relationshipswith Egyptian society, including the Islamic community and state institutions. The Pope also spoke of the Coptic immigrant communities residing in China. The head of the Chinese delegation discussed the plurality of religious communities in China, confirming that the purpose of the trip to Egypt was to learn more about the religious context in the North African nation and to advance dialogue and collaboration between China and the Egyptian government and religious institutions.

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The delegation also met with the Egyptian Minister of Religious Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Mokhtar, who stated that Egypt has a rich cultural history, and its people are characterized by tolerance, compassion, and appreciation of diversity. In addition to these meetings, the delegation visited the Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum, attended the Mozart concert at All Saints Cathedral in Zamalek, and visited the Bible Society in Heliopolis.

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