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A long time ago the Christian church was massive and vibrant throughout the North Africa region. Simon, the cross-carrier for Jesus, hailed from what is now . Local martyrs contributed the seed from which the church took root and multiplied. St Augustine studied in what is now and ended his life as a bishop in what is now . Christianity (or at least some of its most serious theological expressions) found a route to Europe through ancient Carthage, especially after the barbarians arrived to the gates of Rome. Christianity has, within North Africa, remained largely an expatriate-based, Latinised faith. Indigenous expressions were suspected and eventually squashed. There was not much left of a vibrant, contextualized Christianity to provide an attractive alternative to, or defense against, Islam as it rode westward out of Arabia.
Anglican churches in North Africa date to the presence in the region of European traders and diplomats, and then missionaries. They have remained faithful hubs for the celebration of Christian faith in , and after the dominant European presence in the region diminished and disappeared. In 1976 the was formed, with the as one of its constituent dioceses. The emergence of Egyptian bishops as diocesans has helped give Anglicanism in North Africa a more locally grounded feeling: is an African and he is an Arabic-speaker!
Each of the Anglican churches in , in and in is situated in a wonderfully strategic location. We often provide the only Protestant services in English or in one of the major Indian languages. We enjoy healthy ecumenical relations with Orthodox and Roman Catholic friends, on the one hand, and more independent, Protestant, (even Pentecostal or charismatic) friends on the other. We are small enough not to be a threat to anyone, but we are passionate about trusting God – and working towards – the development of indigenous, national congregations of Anglican Christians throughout the region.