Egypt Fighting Terrorism

As the Egyptian people were preparing for the celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the 25 January 2011 Revolution, and rejoicing after the passing of the new Constitution, the Islamists (Muslim Brotherhood and other groups) threatened that they would demonstrate, yet again, in protest of the removal of former President Mursi.

This morning Egypt woke up hearing the news of several bombs in Cairo; 12 people were killed and dozens injured. It is clear that the terrorist groups are now targeting the police and the army. The day before, six police were shot dead by a group of terrorists at a check-point in Upper Egypt. The Egyptian Security is doing its best to bring security within the streets of Egypt, yet, as you know, terrorist attacks are very difficult to predict and not easy to avoid. The question that needs to be answered is: why have these terrorist attacks happened throughout Egypt only after the removal of former President Mursi? What is the link?

Many Egyptians believe that during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, many extremist groups flourished. Many members of these extremists were pardoned by Mursi and released from prisons. They immediately became involved in the political life in Egypt. Under the current interim government, there is no space for such extremist groups.

These terrorist attacks stirred both anger and determination within the Egyptian people. After the attacks, people gathered from everywhere at the site of the bombing to shout against those groups who committed these criminal and savage acts, and also against the Muslim Brotherhood who supported these groups. Many have expressed their determination to support the police and the army in their war against terrorism.

All churches in Egypt condemned these attacks, including the Anglican Church, and encouraged the Egyptian people to fight terrorism and do their best to build the country.

My hope and prayer is that the international community would stand in solidarity with the current Egyptian Government in its fight against terrorism. I know that most countries have condemned these bombings, but condemnation needs to be accompanied by more practical actions.

Please continue to pray for our beloved country Egypt.

+ Mouneer Egypt

Voting and Dancing

            Voting and Dancing: Egyptians write their Future

 Once again, the Egyptian people have surprised the world.  Yesterday was the first day of the Referendum on the new Constitution of Egypt.  The supporters of the former President Mohammed Mursi called people to boycott the Referendum.  Surprisingly enough, yesterday millions of people went to the polls to vote and they are still voting today!  Going to the polls was risky because of those who were trying to use violence to scare people from voting, but the army and the police exerted a great effort to protect the polls and to give assurance to the people who would like to vote.

Egyptians Vote and Celebrate

Unlike the previous Constitution that was written under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, the new Constitution affirms equality and the rights of women within the Egyptian society.  It was a phenomenon to see crowds of women at each poll, many of whom queued for hours to vote.  Some of them were singing and rejoicing, and even dancing, before and after they cast their vote.  There was a general spirit of joy among the people of Egypt who voted, in a way that never happened before.  We, alongside other Christian denominations, encouraged the people of Egypt to fulfill their civil duty to vote and to pray for the future of Egypt.

Egyptian Vote

All of this is a message to those who called the 30 June 2013 Revolution a “military coup.”  The same millions of people who went out in the streets that day, also went to vote yesterday and today.  It is also an indirect support of the Road Map that was announced on 3 July, the day of the removal of the former President.

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The Road Map, designed by different streams of politicians as well as the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church, formed an interim government and appointed a Committee of 50 (representatives of all sectors of the society) to write the new Constitution.  The interim government, after the Referendum on the Constitution, will prepare for Parliamentary and Presidential elections.  Many voters carried the photos of Field Marshall al-Sisi, the Minister of Defense, in an attempt to persuade him to run for the presidency.  This is because al-Sisi was the one who responded to the request of the millions of demonstrators on 30 June who called for early Presidential elections and the removal of the former President.

The new Constitution affirms the rights of citizenship, and prohibits all forms of discrimination.  It has clauses that ensure the development of education and health care for every citizen.  It allows the freedom of worship and the building of churches, and Article 3 gives the right for non-Muslims (Christians and Jews) to resort to their canon laws in regard to civil issues.

I can see my beloved country standing on the doorstep of a new day.  Do pray that the hopes and dreams of millions of people, of a more settled, secure and democratic country, will be fulfilled.

May the Lord bless you!

+ Mouneer Egypt

Pray for peace as Egypt goes to the polls

As Egyptians vote in the constitutional referendum on the 14th and 15th of January 2014, Bishop Mouneer asks for prayers for peace.

“As the Egyptian people are now preparing to go to the polls to vote on the new constitution, they are also concerned about the continuous violence and terroristic attacks.

The aim of these attacks is to deter people from voting. The number of people that vote will be an indicator of the support of the people for the roadmap that was announced by the interim government on the 3rd of July last year.

Our hope and prayer is that this referendum will pass peacefully. This will pave the road towards the presidential and parliamentary elections, which in turn will lead to more stability and security in this land.

For all Egyptians, including Christians, the last few months have not been easy. The supporters of the former president attacked police stations and churches. In order to see the creation of a free and democratic country, Christians realise that there are many sacrifices to be made.

Even so, we sense that the future of our country will be more inclusive of all its citizens unlike the previous regime.

Believing that national unity is very important at this time, the Anglican Church in Egypt seeks to be bridge builders and instruments of reconciliation in our country.

An example of this is our current efforts to use the arts, and cultural events, to bring people of all backgrounds together at our Cathedrals in Cairo and Alexandria.

Additionally, we just ended a successful exchange program that brought together 60 imams and priests from several areas of Egypt that have experienced sectarian conflicts during the past year. With God’s grace, we will repeat this program next year.

As we think of the Prince of Peace, we pray that this region of the Middle East may experience his peace that passes all understanding. Pray for us as we seek to be peacemakers at this point of time in Egypt and beyond.”

+Mouneer

Christ and the Peace we need today!

Christmas Message from Bishop Mouneer

Christmas is always linked with peace, at the day Christ was born the angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” (Luke 2:14).

800 years before the birth of Christ, the Prophet Isaiah prophesied about Christ: “For to us a child is born,  to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  “The Prince of Peace” is how Isaiah described Christ who is coming to our world.  In the same way, Zechariah the High Priest prophesied about Christ saying he will “shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace” (Luke 1:79).

When Jesus came, he said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).  On his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ also said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).  He also instructed his disciples that their message to the people should be a message of peace.  This was clear in his saying, “When you enter a house, first say, “Peace to this house.” (Luke 10:5).

However, some may ask, “where is this peace?”  Is it possible to sing today, as did the angels at the first Christmas: “on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests”?  These questions are reasonable because the world where we live now is characterized by wars and conflicts.  This is particularly clear in the Middle East where we live.  Every day we hear about explosions, killings, the shedding of blood… Where is this peace of Christ, the Prince of Peace?

Before I try to answer this question, let us first think of the meaning of the word “peace.”  Some define peace as a state of no-war and no-conflict.  Others define peace as a state of wholeness, especially in regard to relationships.  There are also different types of peace: peace between countries, peace between the people of a society, inner peace, and peace with God.

Peace with God can be achieved when a person has an intimate relation with God and when there is no separation, like sin, between us and God, similar to the sin of Adam and Eve that separated them from God.  In my opinion, peace with God is the main source of inner peace, peace of a society, and peace between different countries.  The person whose heart is distant from God, and I say whose heart because one can be close to God outwardly in front of people but the heart can be far away from God.  Such a person cannot experience the inner peace and as a consequence of this, such person cannot be in peace with others.  This in return has its impact on the whole society.  Jesus Christ came to demolish all barriers between us and God.  He came to reconcile us to God as our sins separated us from Him.  That is why he is truly the Prince of Peace.

The Apostle Paul says “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:13-18).

Jesus Christ came in a form of a human in order to pay the wage of our sins on the cross and reconcile us to God.  As a result of this reconciliation, peace with God is achieved.  This reconciliation is not limited to a nation, or a specific people, but in Christ it is available for the whole world, for all who believe.  The Apostle Paul says, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

In his speech on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace Former President Carter said: I worship Jesus Christ, whom we Christians consider to be the Prince of Peace. As a Jew, he taught us to cross religious boundaries in service and in love. He repeatedly reached out and embraced our Roman conquerors, other Gentiles and even the more-despised Samaritans.

My beloved… as we celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Prince of Peace, if we want to experience true peace with God, we ought to open our hearts to Him and believe the work of redemption and reconciliation which Jesus Christ completed on the cross.

If we already have experienced this peace, we ought to be ambassadors for Christ in the society where we live.  As ambassadors, we ought to carry the message of peace and reconciliation that is in Christ, for the whole world around us.  As the Apostle Paul said, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Indeed the message of the church should be: be reconciled to God! And we must exert every effort in order to make peace in our country.

My beloved… at the birthday of the Prince of Peace we ought to pray for our beloved country Egypt and our great people in order for real peace to prevail and for violence and terrorism to cease.  Let us also pray for the people of our region who suffer from tension and instability.

May God fill our hearts with the peace that Jesus Christ gives, so that we can sing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

Advent Appeal for Churches in Gambella

Giving in Gambella

There is a little church in a town called Ilea in Gambella. The church’s walls are made of a few bamboo sticks; its roof a UNHCR tarp. There is nothing inside but a bare, smooth floor of packed mud. Bishop Grant LeMarquand recently taught at the church about the woman who had given Jesus her wealth (her gift of costly ointment worth a year’s wages); had given her pride (in the ancient world only a slave could be required to attend to a person’s feet); and she had given her reputation (she had let down her hair to wash Jesus’ feet). As it came time for this church to give the offering, to the handfuls of grain and little one birr notes (worth six cents) that were laid on the mat, were added the gifts of the women. One laid down her head scarf, the next her necklace of plastic beads, and one by one, women, who from a western perspective had ‘nothing’, came and brought their gifts – ‘costly’, because that was all they had.

About Gambella

Each week over 6,000 people worship in 70 congregations in Gambella, a region in the west of Ethiopia. These congregations are active in Mothers’ Union, Bible studies, youth ministry, literacy classes, prayer meetings and community development and serve both nationals and refugees from neighbouring Sudan who worship in a variety of languages including Anuak, Dinka, Nuer, Mabaan and Opo.

Make a difference - make a donation today

The Road to Sustainability

Under the leadership of the Right Revd Dr Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, the churches are growing rapidly.  And although people give sacrificially, it is not enough to cover the salary of the priests who are active in discipleship, evangelism and planting new churches.

Make a difference - make a donation today

The challenge now is to support these clergy prayerfully and financially. With the long-term goal of establishing self-supporting churches, the congregations are expected to pay increasing percentages of the priests’ salaries each year. In the short term, however, our congregations are not able to cover the full amount of these salaries. We need you to consider partnering with these churches on their journey to become self-supporting.

Make a difference - make a donation today

Partner with Us

Please pray for the churches in Gambella, and consider supporting the salary of one or more of these priests as a one time donation or an ongoing relationship.

  • Cost of a priest: $2,200 per year
  • Church contribution: $200 per year
  • Balance needed: $2,000 per year

Just click on the buttons below to download printable PDFs and a PowerPoint Presentation that you can share with others.

How to Contribute

You can contribute directly into the bank account of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia

Bank name: Awash International Bank S.C.
Branch: Awat Kilo Branch
Bank address: PO Box 12638 Addis Ababa
Account name: The Anglican Church in Ethiopia
Account number: 476-01304221297000
SWIFT code: AWINETAA

If you are in the USA, you can make a tax deductible donation through the Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, a registered 501(c)3 corporation.

www.friendsanglicandioceseegypt.org

If you are in the UK, you can contribute through the Egypt Diocesan Association, a registered UK charity, and if you are a UK taxpayer you can “Gift Aid It” – adding 25% to your gift.

www.eda-egypt.org.uk

For more information about our work in Gambella and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, just click HERE.
Advent Appeal for Gambella (Arabic)
Advent Appeal for Gambella (English)
Advent Appeal for Gambella (Powerpoint)

75th Anniversary of All Saints Cathedral

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis requests the honour of your presence at the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of All Saints’ Cathedral in Cairo at 7 pm on Saturday 2 November 2013. The Guest Preacher is the Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York

المطران الدكتور منير حنا انيس  وقسوس و شعب الكنيسة يتشرفون بدعوتكم لحضور اليوبيل الماسى لتكريس كاتدرائية جميع القديسين الاسقفية يوم السبت الموافق ٢ نوفمبر ٢٠١٣ فى تمام الساعه السابعه مساءاً يُلقى العظة رئيس الاساقفة الدكتور/ جون سنتامو  رئيس أساقفة  يورك.

خطاب رئيس اساقفة كانتربيري لقداسة البابا تواضروس الثاني

Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II

قام نيافة المطران الدكتور منير حنا أنيس بزيارة قداسة البابا تواضروس الثاني بالمقر البابوي بالعباسية  وسلم قداسته أثناء الزيارة خطاباً من رئيس اساقفة كانتربيري يؤكد فيه أن الكنيسة في مصر هي محور صلوات المؤمنين في كنيسة أنجلترا معبراً عن المه الشديد لتدمير وحرق عدد من الكنائس المصرية .
وأثناء الزيارة تم تقديم فكرة موجزة لقداسة البابا عن برامج ألفا التي تقوم بها الكنيسة الأسقفية الأنجليكانية ، وقد تناولت المناقشات الوضع الحالي في مصر ودور الكنيسة الوطني في الوقت الحالي .

وقد حضر اللقاء نيافة الأنبا باخوم أسقف سوهاج والمهندس شادي حنا منسق برامج ألفا في مصر .

New Area Dean for East Cairo

On Sunday 8 September, Bishop Mouneer installed Rev. Dr. Jos Strengholt  as Area Dean for East Cairo. Rev. Jos and his wife Adrienne have lived in Egypt for many years, and serve at St Michael and All Angels Heliopolis. During the same service, Rev. Adel Shokralla was licensed to work as a priest at St Michael’s and there were also some confirmations of new members of the church.

Bishop Mouneer shared about the example of Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 13, who didn’t listen to fear but trusted in the Lord. In Egypt, and in the Middle East at this time there is a spirit of fear. However, the Church is called to trust in God and place ourselves in His hands.

مؤتمر التحديات التي تواجه المسيحيين العرب

Bishop Mouneer attends conference on the the challenges facing the Middle East's Christians in Jordan

On the 3-4 September 2013, Bishop Mouneer attended a conference on the the challenges facing the Middle East’s Christians in Amman, Jordan. The conference, called by Jordan’s King Abdullah and organized by his chief advisor for religious and cultural affairs, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, brought together representatives at the highest levels of the Christian churches in the Middle East.

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