Egypt Council of Churches along with the Middle East Council of Churches are praying for unity for a week starting from 15th Feb, 2018 to 22nd Feb, 2018. The prayers are going to be held in different churches, members of both councils. Come and join us for prayers on Monday 19th Feb, 2018 in All Saints Cathedral at 6: 30 pm. To view the full program, please click here.
Many of the expatriates El Kanater prison face long sentences and difficult conditions. Yet many find hope through Jesus Christ. One of the inmates writes “while in this darkness called prison, God has shown His light onto us. We have the privilege to gather to pray, worship and hear His word. We have seen this light through His Word and we appreciate this light. This is the Light we are reflecting through the darkness.”
The Prison Ministry team supports expatriate men and women imprisoned in El Kanater Prison, in the outskirts of Cairo, through weekly visits, prayer, and through gifts of food, blankets, air tickets and other items.
Please click the button below for news from the Prison Ministry team
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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!
Click the button below to download Bishop Mouneer’s statement.