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.

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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.

Help us to Help Others

Dear brothers and sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Special Appeal 2013The past week has been traumatic for Egyptians. We witnessed bloodshed on our streets, vandalism and the deliberate destruction of churches and government buildings in lawless acts of revenge. One of our Anglican Churches was attacked, and other ministries received threats. We praise God that our churches and congregations are safe, but we grieve for the loss of life and for the churches which were burnt over the past week in Egypt.

The Anglican Church in Egypt serves all Egyptians, especially the disadvantaged and marginalized, through our educational, medical and community development ministries. We seek to be a light in our society, and we continue to serve our neighbours in the difficult situation which surrounds us. Unemployment is at a record high, there is a lack of security on the streets, the economy is in decline, and poverty is crushing for many people in Egypt.

We need your help

Through your support, we hope to help in the following areas:

  • Provide basic needs for the poorest of the poor (food, health care, children’s education).
  • Building the capacity of young adults in order to find work through vocational training and small business projects.
  • Spiritual ministry.

Helping the poorest of the poor

In many cases these are the most affected by the situation in Egypt. As the church, we want to practically show the love of God and provide for people in this challenging time in Egypt.

Some examples of ways that you could give are;

  • Provide a meal for a poor child ($1 US per day)
  • Visit to a doctor ($2 per visit)
  • Food to feed a family ($5 per day)
  • Subsidy for nursery fees for a child ($20 per month)
  • School fees for a year ($50 per year)
  • Emergency surgical operation ($100 per operation).

Building the capacity of young adults

It is very difficult for young people to find jobs, and the Diocese is empowering young adults (both hearing and deaf) through vocational training and micro-loans.

Examples of this are;

  • Vocational training for 2 months ($150)
  • Vocational training for 6 months  ($450)
  • Loan for a small business project  ($750)

Spiritual ministry

We continue to serve our congregations, and to teach the Word of God. You can;

  • Give a Bible ($3 per Bible)
  • Transport for children to attend Sunday School ($20 per session)
  • Subsidy to attend an Alpha Course ($20)

Please consider supporting us prayerfully and financially. If you would like to contribute financially, please give to one or more of the three categories above. If you send a non-designated donation then we will allocate the donation to the most needed category above.

May the Lord bless you!

+Mouneer


To make a donation

If you are in the US or  the  UK,  please  contact  our Partner Organisations

In Egypt or other countries, please contact the Diocese Partnership Office through Ms. Rosie Fyfe (rosie@dioceseofegypt.org)

If you would like to download a PDF version of the appeal: Special Appeal for Egypt (2013)

 

Urgent Prayers Needed for Egypt

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

As I write these words, our St. Saviour’s Anglican Church in Suez is under heavy attack from those who support former President Mursi. They are throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the church and have destroyed the car of Rev. Ehab Ayoub, the priest-in-charge of St. Saviour’s Church. I am also aware that there are attacks on other Orthodox churches in Menyia and Suhag in Upper Egypt (photo above), as well as a Catholic church in Suez. Some police stations are also under attack in different parts of Egypt. Please pray and ask others to pray for this inflammable situation in Egypt.

Early this morning, the police supported by the army, encouraged protestors in two different locations in Cairo, to leave safely and go home. It is worth mentioning that these protestors have been protesting for 6 weeks, blocking the roads. The people in these neighborhoods have been suffering a great deal—not only these people, but those commuting through, especially those who are going to the airport. The police created very safe passages for everyone to leave. Many protestors left and went home, however, others resisted to leave and started to attack the police. The police and army were very professional in responding to the attacks, and they used tear gas only when it was necessary. The police then discovered caches of weapons and ammunition in these sites. One area near Giza is now calm, but there is still some resistance at other sites. There are even some snipers trying to attack the police and the army. There are even some rumors that Muslim Brotherhood leaders asked the protestors in different cities to attack police stations, take weapons, and attack shops and churches.

A few hours later, violent demonstrations from Mursi supporters broke out in different cities and towns throughout Egypt. The police and army are trying to maintain safety for all people and to disperse the protestors peacefully. However, the supporters of former President Mursi have threatened that if they are dispersed from the current sites, they will move to other sites and continue to protest. They also threatened to use violence. There have been a number of fatalities and casualties from among the police as well as the protestors, but it seems that the numbers are not as high as expected for such violence. However, the supporters of former President Mursi claim that there are very high numbers of casualties. The real numbers will be known later on.

Please pray that the situation will calm down, for wisdom and tact for the police and the army, for the safety of all churches and congregations, and that all in Egypt would be safe.

May the Lord bless you!

+Mouneer

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