Citizenship Roundtable with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

Bishop Mouneer and the Diocese of Egypt recently hosted a remarkable inter-faith dialogue event in our All Saints Garden Conference Center.

The Roundtable, with Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister of the UK’ Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion, was focused on the topic of Citizenship, and how we can promote citizenship here in Egypt. They acknowledged that discrimination is not something unique to Egypt, as many other countries have councils and commissions to combat discrimination and intolerance.

It was an amazing event with participants from many sectors of life: politicians, religious leaders, and academics. They gathered to discuss how we can work together to promote tolerance and acceptance. Some of the participants were: Lord Ahmad, Bishop Mouneer, Dr. Mustafa El-Feki (director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina), Sheikh Abu-Zeid Al-Amir (“Family House” Coordinator), Counsellor Adli Hussein (former governor of Qalyubia governorate and President of the EU’s inter-faith dialogue committee), Dr. Zaid Bahaa Al-Din (former Deputy Prime Minister) and Bishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox Bishop in the UK).

Here are some quotes from the event:

Achieving this future vision has to start from a recognition of where we are, of the types of challenges that we face, and also of the good faith behind meeting those challenges and facing them head on.”- Dr. Zaid Bahaa Al-Din

Bishop Angaelos said that this search for citizenship is about reclaiming something that was there and has been lost. We have to figure out why it was lost, and how to get it back.

Bishop Mouneer said, “Citizenship is a dream for every nation” and he affirmed President Sisi’s opening words at the recent World Youth Forum which promoted the elimination of discrimination within Egypt and affirmed the freedom of belief and worship here in Egypt. He also said that the burden of achieving this great vision falls on everyone.

Sheikh Abu-Zeid Al-Amir said that Family House is making huge efforts to train Imams and Priest to work together toward developmental work here in Egypt.

Adli Hussein said that the Egyptian constitution affirms citizen’s rights.

At the conclusion of the event, the Roundtable participants proposed the development of an independent commission to combat discrimination and intolerance here in Egypt, according to Article 53 of the Egyptian Constitution.

We are grateful to all of the Roundtable participants!

To view the news coverage of this event, visit Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Visit of Rev Stephen Sizer to Holy Trinity Church, Algiers

Rev Hamdy Daoud, the priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity Church in Algiers, recently hosted Rev Stephen Sizer, and said “We enjoyed Rev Stephen preaching in our Church on Friday; he spoke about the future in the Christian theology and he gave us 7 irrefutable biblical points by which we stand firm against Christian Zionism claims. The church was very well attended, 110 people from 10 different nationalities.

During his visit, Rev Stephen was interviewed three times by Algerian Television and Radio programs, gave lectures for an Islamic institute in Algiers, and addressed Muslim leaders and scholars in the University of Oran. The lectures were on the topics of: the historical roots of Christian Zionism, the political agenda of Christian Zionism, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict from Christian Perspective.

All of the lectures were received very well. Rev Stephen could powerfully shake the theological foundation of Christian Zionism movement and helped Algerians Muslims (leaders and students) understand Christian Zionism. One of the Islamic Leaders thanked Rev Stephen for removing wrong illusions about Christians. All appreciated the call of Rev Stephen that justice has got to be achieved for Palestinians. All appreciated the Biblical call for peace, doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.”

We do thank God for supporting us by Rev Stephen to work with us last week. We do thank God for supporting us by Algerian officials; we do appreciate their support and we also do thank the interior ministry who escorted us in Oran!! Events like this in Algeria show that Christian community is important for the continuation of Muslim Christian dialogue and for the development of their society!

 

 

Imams and Priests Working Together to Address Sectarian Problems in Egypt

Together for a Better Egypt: the Imam-Priest Exchange,’ is an interfaith initiative co-ordinated by the Diocese. 30 imams and 30 priests are brought together for 4 weekends each year, in order to facilitate mutual understanding and encourage peaceful relationships between Muslims and Christians in Egypt.

The third meeting (30 September – 2 October) focused on how imams and priests can work together to address sectarian problems in Egypt.

Understanding each other’s place of worship. The group spent time in a Catholic Church in Cairo, and during a prayer time at a mosque in Menouf (a city in the Nile Delta). This allowed the participants to understand more about each others traditions and forms of worship.

Practical ways to work together. Bishop Mouneer hosted a session where participants discussed practical ways to work together. The ideas will be presented at the next meeting of  Beit il-Aila (House of the Family), a group which brings together Christian heads of denominations and Muslim leaders in Egypt. Ideas and actions included;

  • One participant is a Presbyterian priest from Imbaba, a poor area of Cairo which has faced sectarian violence previously. He recently met with the imam from the near-by mosque and they discussed how to stop the disease of violence. They agreed that they need to face problems directly. One area they will work on together is addressing the spirit of fanaticism in schools.
  • One imam shared how the exaggeration of the media increases the sectarian problems.
  • Another imam shared “we commit a serious mistake when we talk about ‘us’ and ‘them.’ We should always say we.
  • Another participants shared how a major problem is ignorance and illiteracy. “People who are open minded and educated have the responsibility to teach uneducated people about tolerance.”
  • A Coptic priest from Ismalaya shared how he and the local imam visited an Islamic hospital and orphanage together. He said “People in the street were surprised and excited to see us visiting together. People are eager to hear and see hope. It is a matter of example and relationships, doing not just talking.”

Practically Serving the Community. The group spent a day in Menouf visiting children at the Episcopal School,  special needs children at the Menara Centre, patients at Harpur Memorial Hospital,  as well as a Coptic Orthodox church and a mosque. They walked through the streets together, which suprised the residents of this rural area of Egypt. One man was so happy that he wanted to invite the whole group for a meal! At the school, one imam shared at the group assembly. “Long live Egypt. Long live Islam and long live Christianity. Long live Egypt free and having national unity. Long live the country where we live together. Long live the Nile that gives us water. In the name of the one God, I pray that national unity will keep us from destruction.”

Building Bridges. The group visited the Minister of El-Awqaf, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Bishop Mouneer,  Dr. Mahmoud Azab (consultant of the Grand Imam for interfaith dialogue), Bishop Armaya (the Coptic Bishop responsible for interfaith dialogue) and others shared about the initiative.

Standing in Solidarity. 10 priests and imams visited the priest of Al-Adra Coptic Church in Al-Warraq, Cairo. In October, 5 people were shot, including an 8-year-old girl, as they were leaving a wedding at this church.  The Coptic priest expressed how deeply he appreciated this visit.

3rd meeting Imam-Priest Exchange (4) 3rd meeting Imam-Priest Exchange (2) 3rd meeting Imam-Priest Exchange (1) 3rd meeting Imam-Priest Exchange (10) 3rd meeting Imam-Priest Exchange (9)

 

Iftar Meal Hosted by Diocese

Bishop Mouneer hosted a Ramadan ‘Iftar’ (meal breaking the fast) on the 17th July at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. The event was attended by the current Grand Mufti, Shawky Allam, the former Grand Mufti, Dr. Ali Gomaa, and many other Christian and Muslim leaders and Ambassadors. Bishop Mouneer says “it is time to work together to rebuild Egypt again.”

The Diocese has many ministry and projects which serve Muslims and Christians, which help to bring greater unity between religious groups. Our community development centres run by EpiscoCare provide over 1500 microloans each year. During the event, contracts for 5 micro-loans were signed with people served by our centres. The event was also attended by Imams and Priests from the ‘Together for a New Egypt’ Imam-Priest Exchange initiative, and young Muslims and Christians from the Arkan Culture Centre in Alexandria.

 

اقام المطران الدكتور  منير حنا مطران الكنيسة الاسقفية بمصر وشمال افريقيا والقرن اللافريقى  حفل “افطار محبة “يوم الاربعاء 17 يوليو 2013

واثناء الحفل اعلنت مؤسسه الرعاية الأسقفية ( الأبيسكوكير ) عن بدأ مشروع جديد للقروض الصغيرة وقد وقع خمسة افراد علي استلامهم اول دفعة من هذه المنح .

كما حضر اللقاء عدد من شباب   مركز اركان الثقافي الفني بالأسكندرية وشارك ايضاً عدداً من الأئمة والقسوس المشاركين بمشروع تبادل القسوس والأئمة .

وقد حضر الحفل كل من الدكتور شوقى علام مفتى الجمهورية والدكتور على جمعه المفتى السابق والدكتور محمود عزب نيابة عن فضيلة الأستاذ الدكتور احمد الطيب شيخ الازهرالشريف ومعالى الوزير منير فخرى عبدالنور وزير التجارة والصناعة ولفيف من السادة سفراء الدول الأجنبية  ايرلندا وانجلترا واثيوبيا واستراليا وبريطانيا والاستاذ جرجس صالح والاستاذ سمير مرقس والدكتور على السمان والإعلامي  مفيد فوزى والاب بيشوى حلمى عن مجلس كنائس مصر والاب رفيق جريش والمستشار عدلى حسين والمستشار امير رمزى.

Pages: