Syrian Refugee Response

Throughout their history Refuge-Egypt has focused mainly on meeting the needs of the African refugee community in Egypt. However, as the crisis in Syria continues, we find ourselves in a unique position to provide medical aid in response to a worsening situation there. As an implementing partner of the UNHCR, we have been providing medical and nutritional care for Syrian People of UNHCR Concern.

There are now over 111,000 UNHCR registered Syrian refugees in Egypt, with thousands more unregistered and awaiting registration. Although the Egyptian government has granted Syrians access to public services, Egypt does not have the capacity to meet the demands of so many individuals.

Many of the poorest and most vulnerable Syrian refugees now live in the 6th October suburb of Cairo. It is in this clinic that we are pleased to welcome Dr Eriny Zakaria, our new team leader. The 6th October clinic that she leads is just one example of the way Refuge-Egypt is able to provide quality medical services  to patients who are high risk.

In November 2012, the UN conducted research amongst Syrian refugees in Egypt. In it they identified a strong need for medical support, specifically for primary, maternal and child healthcare. Since this research emerged, and upon the request of the UNHCR, Refuge-Egypt has provided ante and postnatal services for all Syrian refugees. This has been an enormous responsibility, but also an encouragement and a privilege. 20% of the 16,149 medical clinic consultations this year have been Syrians.Due to this tremendous need, and through the amazing support of our partners and friends, Refuge-Egypt is now able to establish a new antenatal clinic in Alexandria which will open in October.

For more information about Refuge Egypt please see the Refuge Egypt website or the Refuge Egypt Newsletter (September 2013)

Training on Clean Water with the Mothers Union in Gambella

In a recent survey conducted by the Anglican Church in Gambella, Ethiopia, it was found that an average of 2 to 4 children survived per an average of 9 to 11 children born into the family. Most of these children die under age 5 from communicable disease and malaria.

With the support of Anglican Aid, a three year training program for the Mothers Union has started to address issues of poverty and health. The Mother’s Union is an integral part of the Anglican Church in Gambella, and is actively engaged in literacy programs, church activities, practical help, prayer and visitations to the sick. The new training program will expand the role of the Mothers Union, providing theological and practical skills to women across 70 villages. This will be done through a ‘train-the-trainer’ program, which will empower women to affect change in their own communities.

Dr. Wendy LeMarquand, the project co-ordinator, reports on the first training session. “On September 4th and 5th, we hosted 34 women representing 20 distinct Mothers’ Union groups functioning out of our 14 Mission Centres spread throughout the Gambella region.

It was wonderful to see how intently the women listened to the introductory story dealing with issues of how we learn and how we can work together to help take care of problems in the community. And it was a delight to see how much they enjoyed using pictures and story-telling as they later practiced teaching this to one another! They had lots of fun looking through magnifying glasses and binoculars in the session on how we are able to see things that contaminate water, and they were amazed (and quite horrified!) at the pictures of microorganisms shown to them on my computer!

Our practice sessions on solar water purification, water filter construction, clean water dispensers and dish drying racks were full of laughter, good questions and good discussion. When each of the representatives left to return to their Mission Centres, they carried the materials to make their own clean water dispensers, carrying these simple, inexpensive and locally available items as if they were carrying costly treasure.

These ‘water dispensers’ that our representatives will make during their own community demonstration/teaching sessions will replace the common open (and never washed) communal pot of water (which is usually kept inside the church office, in the dark), and into which one unwashed cup is passed from one coughing adult to one feverish child, to another with diarrhea, etc.

Some were moved to tears to think that what they are learning may save the lives of their precious children. To think that the occurrence and re-occurrence of diarrhea is something that can be taken care of and prevented was a new concept to many. To communicate these important truths in a way that is fun, non-judgmental and memorable is one of the main goals of the program.

Our Mothers’ Union representatives will return to teach what they have learned by holding a teaching day for all of our 1500 Mothers’ Union members at the Mission Centres, and then by holding a second teaching day at our 60+ local churches where each Mothers’ Union member is encouraged to invite and teach at least one community guest.

The Mothers Union in Gambella requires further support for these training sessions. Please contact Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand for further information


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.

جاستين ويلبي رئيس أساقفة كانتر بري ببريطانيا‏:‏ التدخل العسكري لن يحل مشكلة الشعب السوري

علي هامش زيارة خاطفة لمصر لم تستغرق سوي يومين أختص جاستين ويلبي رئيس اساقفة كانتربري أبرز مسئول ديني في بريطانيا الاهرام بلقاء سريع حول الوضع في مصر بعد وقبل حكم الاخوان ورؤيته لما يحدث علي الساحة العربية خاصة التهديد بالحرب ضد سوريا الذي وصفه بالغباء الغربي‏.‏

وأكد أن التدخل العسكري في سوريا لن يحل المأساة التي تحدث للشعب السوري وحول تطور الاوضاع في منطقة الشرق الاوسط لا سيما في سوريا, وإليكم نص الحوار:

كيف تري الوضع في منطقة الشرق الاوسط ؟

الوضع في منطقة الشرق الاوسط سيئ ويسيطر عليه الشعور بالخوف من شن ضربات عسكرية ضد سوريا, وهناك حالة تأهب موجودة في بعض البلدان التي تمتلك قواعد عسكرية يتوقع منها انطلاق الضربات.

ماهو دوركم في وقف التدخل العسكري ضد سوريا؟

لقد القيت كلمة في مجلس اللوردات البريطاني واكدت فيها ان التدخل العسكري في سوريا لن يحل المأساة التي تحدث للشعب السوري, واننا في حاجة لانتظار تقرير الامم المتحدة عن استخدام الاسلحة الكيماوية, وحذرت اننا لايجب ان ندخل في حرب كما حدث في العراق دون مبررات. وايدني في ذلك العديد من اعضاء المجلس ولذلك جاء قرار البرلمان البريطاني برفض التدخل   العسكري في سوريا

 ماهي رؤيتكم للوضع الحالي في مصر وسوريا؟

اري أن حل المشكلة السورية يكمن في الحوار بين كل الاطراف السورية والدولية المتداخلة في هذه الازمة وليس في الحل العسكري. اما بالنسبة لمصر فنحن نحترم ارادة الشعب المصري الذي يتوق الي تحقيق العيش الكريم والحرية والعدالة الاجتماعية. نحن نثق في قدرة الشعب المصري علي تحقيق اهدافه لانه شعب عريق وله حضارة عريقة. وقال: حذرت من أن التدخل العسكري ضد سوريا ستكون له عواقب لا يمكن التنبؤ بها في جميع أنحاء العالمين العربي والإسلامي. وأتوقع أن تكون العواقب رهيبة قد تحدث بسبب هذا التدخل, وقال انني حذرت ايضا النواب البريطانيين الذين صوتوا علي تأييدهم التدخل العسكري في سوريا, من عدم التسرع في اتخاذ مثل هذا القرار وقد لاحظت خلال زيارتي الأخيرة لمنطقة الشرق الأوسط أن هناك شعورا رهيبا من الخوف بشأن ما يمكن أن يحدث فيها في غضون الأسابيع القليلة المقبلة, حيث إن الوضع في الشرق الأوسط يتدهورمن السيئ للاسوأ للاسوأ.

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.

Response to Attacks on Churches in Suez

On 14 August 2013, amidst attacks on churches and Christian centres throughout Egypt, three churches in Suez were attacked: the Anglican, the Catholic, and the Greek Orthodox Church; the latter two were burnt down.  These attacks were in retaliation by the Muslim Brotherhood after the military, acting on behalf of the people of Egypt, removed the non-peaceful Muslim Brotherhood protestors from strategic public places in Cairo.

The Rev. Ehab Ayoub, the Priest-in-Charge of St. Saviour’s Anglican Church in Suez, was inside the church with his family when it was attacked by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who threw stones and Molotov cocktails and tried to enter the premise through the stained-glass windows.  Fortunately, the church was not badly harmed.  During the attack Rev. Ehab was present with a lay minister who had recently helped him start a community development centre in a disadvantaged area of Suez offering education, economic empowerment programs, and health programs to the community.  One of the goals of the centre was to build bridges between Muslim and Christian neighbours.

After the attacks, and with the military protecting the churches, Rev. Ehab visited the two churches which were burnt down, to offer any support to the clergy and congregations.  He even offered the use of St. Saviour’s Anglican Church for their services.  One positive result of the attacks has been the weekly prayer meeting which started in Suez and includes people from all the different denominations.  In the burnt out Catholic Church, Rev. Ehab and members of his congregation attended a mass hosted by the Catholic Bishop of the Suez who gave a message that the “real” church is a gathering of worshiping believers.

When asked what impact the attacks had on him and his church, Rev. Ehab said “I hope that this time of suffering will break down the barriers between the churches in Egypt and build deep and strong relations.”  He went on to further say, “As we shared in the same suffering, we want to support each other and be unified for the glory of the Lord.”

When asked if the attacks change the interaction between Christians and Muslims, the answer was no! The Diocese, every day, serves Christians and Muslims through its hospitals, schools, community development centre etc. “We will continue to love and serve our neighbours as Jesus Christ teaches us, no matter what happens. It is our duty and our joy!”

Clergy Training in Gambella

Every month the clergy of the Gambella region in western Ethiopia come for two to three days of training. We are reading through 1 Corinthians, reading a book on the 39 Articles of Religion, and talking about pastoral issues in the area.

Bishop Grant shares about a recent clergy meeting: “one of the clergy came to me during a break. “Bishop, I have a problem. I need help to understand something”. David Onuk is the priest for the Opo people a small language group two hours into the bush from Gambella town. Although the Ethiopian census number only 1,700, there are probably closer to 5,000 Opo people in the world (it is hard to count people who are so isolated). In the last few years many of them have become (Anglican) Christians.
David’s problem took me by surprise, so I brought the story to the assembled clergy to discuss. A 19-year old nephew, James, who lived with David and his family, had gone off with a group of other young men to hunt for honey in the forest. They found a nest in a tree and James climbed the tree to retrieve the honey. The bees attacked and James fell from the tree impaling himself in the chest as he landed. By the time David reached the scene James was dead.

Then David explained his dilemma. James is the first Opo Christian who has ever died. Some of the people are confused. Are Christians supposed to die? What happens to a Christian when he dies? David explained that the Opo have no view of an afterlife. After relating the details of the story, and after receiving comfort and assurances of prayers from the other pastors, we turned to an attempt to help David to communicate the meaning of this event to his people.

The passage which, in the end, seemed most helpful was 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, but especially the first two verses:
    “We do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters, about those who  have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve as those who have no hope. For,  since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so through Jesus, God will  bring with him those who have died.”
Paul, it seems, had encountered a problem in Thessalonica which was similar to the problem that the Opo were having. Didn’t Jesus defeat death? Doesn’t John 3:16 say that those who believe in Jesus “will not perish”? So what does it mean that Christians die? We talked for quite a while about that fact that Jesus himself faced death. We talked about the resurrection of Jesus and how Jesus’ resurrection is the “first fruits” of our future resurrection. We talked about how we do not have to grieve as if facing death means facing total loss and emptiness, but how our grief is intermingled with true hope – because Jesus rose, we have the assurance of being raised with him. James, even now, is truly in Christ.”

For more news from Bishop Grant and Dr Wendy LeMarquand, visit their blog;


Holy Trinity (Algiers) Church Camp

Holy Trinity Church in Algiers helds its annual church camp in August, attended by 46 people, mostly sub-Saharan African students who are pursuing university studies. The theme was from Psalm 90 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Rev. Hamdy Daoud shares “It was a very blessed camp. I conducted daily morning bible study on relying on God’s strength, followed by discussion groups. In the evenings, I encouraged two students to preach on the theme, followed by discussion groups on exploring different personalities, advantages and disadvantages and how to deal with every personality in a Christian way. It was a transforming camp. Praise the Lord!”

New Honorary Canon of All Saints Cathedral Cairo


The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, is pleased to announce that he will install

 The Rev. Dr. Toby Howarth

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Inter-Religious Affairs

as an Honorary Canon of All Saints Cathedral during the 75th Anniversary of All Saints Cathedral Cairo from 1-3 November 2013.

This honorary appointment is in recognition of great work and tireless efforts of The Rev. Dr. Howarth in regard to the important and longstanding interfaith dialogue between the Anglican Communion and Al Azhar Al Sherif, the hub of Sunni Islam throughout the world, located in Cairo, Egypt.

The Rev. Dr. Howarth has visited Egypt and various parts of the Middle East many times, and previously taught Islamic Studies at Crowther Hall, when he was their Vice Principal. His background in Islamic studies and interfaith dialogue will enrich the Cathedral, the Diocese, and the wider community.


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