Archbishop Mouneer Anis takes part in the “Freedom.. Citizenship.. Diversity.. Integration” Conference

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Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis received an invitation to attend a conference arranged by Al Azhar Al Sharif and the Council of the Muslims Elders. The theme of the conference was about “Freedom, Citizenship, Diversity and integration”. It was held in the 28th of February, till the 1st of March, 2017.

The conference dealt with four major issues:

  • Citizenship.
  • Freedom and diversity.
  • Experiences and challenges.
  • Participation and initiation.

The bishop’s speech was based on maintaining human rights, which is mentioned in all religions. He quoted two verses; one from the Holy bible and the other from the Quran.

The bishop raised important questions: “Who is responsible for the acknowledgment of citizenship rights? Is it on the clerics or politicians and activists?!” His Excellency believed that the religious leaders have the greater impact on achieving citizenship.

Bishop Anis emphasized that the cooperation between the clergy and the media is necessary to exploit the opportunities available for establishing “the right of citizenship”.

Archbishop Mouneer Consecrates First Arab Bishop for North Africa

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In a moving ceremony at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo on February 27, 2017, Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis consecrated his ‘dear brother’ Rev. Samy Fawzy as the first Arab area bishop for North Africa.

Bishop Fawzy succeeds Bishop Bill Musk, who presided over the diocese encompassing Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya since 2008. Bishop Musk was honored and thanked for his time of service, and participated in Fawzy’s consecration.

Joining also to lay hands on the new bishop was Bishop Grant LeMarquand of the Horn of Africa and Bishop Michael Lewis of Cyprus and the Gulf

Also present were Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Rennis Ponniah of Singapore, and other Anglican representatives from around the world.

Bishop Lewis conveyed the congratulations of Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, welcoming Bishop Fawzy into the fellowship of Anglican servant leadership.

Archbishop Welby also praised the Diocese of Egypt for its role as a bridge between Muslims and Christians as well as among the various Christian denominations.

He also issued a firm plea to the government of Egypt to continue recognizing the Anglican Church as an independent denomination, in light of ongoing legal disputes that jeopardize this status.

Archbishop Beach also welcomed Bishop Fawzy, greeting him in the name of GAFCON, and celebrating their partnership in the gospel while assuring of his continued prayers.

Archbishop Ponniah encouraged Bishop Fawzy that in the ‘boat’ of Christian service, it is the Lord Jesus who brings it safely to shore. He also welcomed him into the Global South effort that is catching many fish for the Kingdom of God, celebrating the recent accomplishments in Egypt of a new conference center and administrative buildings for the Alexandria School of Theology.

Congratulations were also offered by Fr. Bishoy Helmy, representing Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Rev. Rifat Fehmy, representing Rev. Andrea Zaki of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, and Bishop Kyrillos William of Asyut, representing Patriarch Ibrahim Ishak of the Coptic Catholic Church.

Fr. Helmy in particular praised the appointment of Bishop Fawzy, recognizing him as one with humility, an ecumenical spirit, and dependence upon the Word of God.

Bishop Fawzy graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University in 1985, but set aside his career to pursue Christian ministry. Later he obtained a Doctorate in Theology from the University of Wales, and upon returning to Egypt was ordained to serve the church in Alexandria, where he was appointed dean in 2013.

Archbishop Anis remarked Bishop Fawzy was distinguished in his pastoral care, especially “among the wounded, oppressed, and marginalized. He shared a quote which was dear to him at his own consecration as bishop, written by St. Augustine of Hippo, also from North Africa.

“For you, I am a bishop. But with you, I am a Christian. The first is an office accepted; the second is a gift received. One is danger; the other is safety. If I am happier to be redeemed with you, than to be placed over you, then I shall as the Lord commanded, be more fully your servant.”

Archbishop Anis told Bishop Fawzy he reviews this quote each day, and encouraged him to do the same.

“Truly the church needs trustworthy shepherds who love the Lord with all their hearts, and who will exert every effort to guide the people of God to live out the message of Christ, the message of love,” said Archbishop Anis.

“I have seen this in Dean Samy.”

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Signing Project Protocol “Together we develop Egypt”

The Episcopal / Anglican church in Egypt has signed a protocol with “Misr El-Kheir” organisation, a project named “Together we develop Egypt” on Tuesday the 21st of February, 2017.

After the success of “Together for Egypt”- which reshaped the physics of Muslim Imams and Christian priests after understanding each other for almost 3 years, 2013 to 2015; the priests and Imams decided to take it a further step and hence “Together we develop Egypt” was born to light.

The main purpose from this project is to train and qualify young men and women, in addition to some Imams and Priests, the skill of accepting others and to communicate with the youth to be able to spread patriotism between Muslims and Christians. This was held in the Episcopal/ Anglican cathedral in Zamalek by the attendance of some of the Imams and priests who are participating in the initiative.

This initiative is seeking to train a 100 from the young men and women on how to accept others, and to communicate effectively through ten Imams and ten priests in some governorates mostly important in Menya, Port said , Suez, Sharkeia , Cairo and Giza.

According to the program, every Imam and Priest tends to pick ten youth from the surrounding, to obtain training in community development that will lead to propose some solutions to solve problems facing the local communities.

The coordinators of the project are expecting a good number of youth to be qualified to lead in this field by the end of the year, as well as, to create a way of participating with a good impact on the local community through an outreach to spread the culture of peace and tolerance.IMG_9395IMG_9421IMG_9436

The Opening of the “All Saints Garden Conference Center”

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The official opening of All Saint’s Garden Center was held last Friday the 24th of February by Archbishop Bishop Mouneer Hanna with the presence of special gathering of guests including donors, Archbishops, Bishops and several people from the Diocese.

The Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah, Bishop of Singapore, Archbishop Kwan Kim, Chekphang, Ven Wong Tak and Keth Chua played an important role for the conference center to come to light.

Dr.Farid Fadel and his wife Dr. Mona Zaki offered a very special gift, made by Dr. Fadel himself, that left a unique imprint in the place. The gift included paintings that gave a beautiful and artistic look to the place.

Keth Chua Hall is named after one of the biggest donors as mentioned earlier. Mr. Chua is a famous person in Singapore that owns a series of centers carries the same name “Garden Center”.

The conference center holds 16 rooms that accommodate approximately 60 people. One of the rooms is a royal suit. The hall accommodates more than 100 people and it is provided with the latest equipment.

We thank the Lord for His gift to us and we pray that this place be used to glorify his name. We would love to invite you to come and visit our center.

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Lay Leadership Conference in February 2017

The different Anglican churches across the diocese sent their potential lay minsters to attend a special training. The conference aimed to increase the awareness of the Anglican Church and how to be involved in its ministry. The Anglican Church in Egypt has a vision of serving the whole society and witnessing to Christ. The attendees were able to grasp the vision in order to take role in this vision with the help of the Holy Spirit.

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All Saints hosted prayers for Unity on Monday February 13th, 2017

All Saints Cathedral hosted the assembly of churches during the week of prayer for unity of the churches, organised by Egypt Council Churches as well as the Council of Middle East Churches, on Monday the 13th of February, 2017. The Cathedral had the honor of receiving the different churches of the council; the Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, the Armenian Catholic and the Evangelical Church. Each of the representatives took part in the liturgy led by Archbishop Mouneer Anis. The unity was most manifested during the sharing of all the churches in the One Bread of the Holy Communion as true reflection of being different members of the One Body, the Body of Christ.

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Bishop’s Comment on the recent decision of President Donald Trump to restrict entry to the United States

Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, Primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Comments on the recent decision of President Donald Trump to restrict entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority nations, and to prioritize the refugee applications of Christians in the Middle East.

 

I was very sad to hear about President Trump’s decision, and fear it will not contribute to the security of the United States in any way. I appreciate the right of the government to protect the nation from terrorism, but this will not happen by preventing Muslims from coming to the country. The Oklahoma City bombing, we recall, was conducted by an American, not a Muslim.

President Trump’s policy is a naïve solution based on generalization and discrimination. The risk of terrorism should be dealt with by the security agencies on an individual basis and in cooperation with other nations. This decision will result in innocent people being barred entry, and refugees will suffer greatly.

Under so much pressure in their home countries, refugees need a refuge. Much poorer nations like Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt have been accommodating the thousands that the United States is turning away.

This decision is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, which requires us to welcome the stranger and treat him well. Jesus Christ, we must remember, was once a refugee in Egypt.

But President Trump’s decision to prioritize Christian refugee application will not help. Deep in my heart I do not want to see Christians leaving the place where Jesus was born, lived, and was crucified.

The Middle East will not be the Middle East without Middle Eastern Christians. It will change, and in more than just demographics. The beautiful mosaic will suffer, as will the church’s witness to Christ’s love among all the peoples of the region.

 

News from Christ the King – Tripoli, Libya

Bishop Mouneer wrote:

Our Church is struggling to manage and run with the income we receive during divine services. We hope we may be able to save Rev. Ayo’s salary from next month onward as he leaves for Canada. Please pray for the formation of a stable government in Libya. Some of church members have left the country due to job loss. Some Africans crossed the Mediterranean looking for greener pastures and some are returning from their homeland but we will never lose hope and keep battling in faith to keep the church alive and more vibrant. Despite street-looting and insecurity, I managed to visit most our new church members living in faraway places in order to strengthen their faith in the Lord. I trust and hope that the members will increase in number in near future.

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Bishop Mouneer in Iran

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Bishop Mouneer wrote :

I am now in a pastoral visit to our churches in Iran. Yesterday was the first service in St Paul Church in Tehran. The people in this church reminded me with the ” Faithful Remnants ” who waiting for the Lord. I rejoiced and prayed so that the Lord may bless them and send servants to  encourage them.

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SERIOUS PRAYER REQUEST

This morning I woke up to the news that over 160 people had been slaughtered in the area of Gambella, Ethiopia within our Diocese.  Many children were abducted, and cattle and food stolen.  This news came from Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl, Dean of our St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College, Gambella, Ethiopia.  The fear is that this conflict may escalate and spread.

Please pray for safety and wisdom for Bishop Grant and Rev Johann and all staff in the Anglican center and the churches of that area. Pray also for the people of this very inflamed region.

You can read more about these events in the article at this link.

Bishop Mouneer

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