Category : Jerusalem & the Middle East

The Bishop of Egypt’s Christmas Eve sermon for 2017

“The Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Today, as we celebrate Christmas, we pray for the families of the Egyptian martyrs who lost their loved ones in the terrorist attacks last year. We also pray for divine protection from all evil powers for our beloved country Egypt.

We also remember our Palestinian brothers and sisters and pray for them; that they may get to live in an independent State with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital. We cry out to the Lord of justice to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinians, Yemenis and Syrians. We fix our eyes on the Prince of Peace, and ask that He grant His peace to all the peoples of the region.

During the last few weeks, we observed Advent, and during this time, we meditated on the prophecies that were made by the Old Testament prophets about the birth of Jesus Christ. We also meditated on the circumstances in which the people lived at that time. We reflected on how we can prepare our hearts for the second coming of Christ.

Today, we celebrate Christmas, which is the first coming of Jesus, while our hearts long for His second coming. If we compare the contexts in which Jesus was born with the current context where we live now, we will find lots of similarities between the two.

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Posted in Christmas, Jerusalem & the Middle East, Preaching / Homiletics

(ACNS) Archbishop calls for tolerance, harmony and mutual respect in the Holy City of Jerusalem

The Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Archbishop Suheil Dawani, has called for tolerance, harmony and mutual respect for all in the Holy City of Jerusalem. He made his comments in a sermon preached at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem yesterday, the second Sunday in Advent.

Reflecting on the Gospel story of John the Baptist, he said that his voice “echoes in the wilderness”, calling the people “into ways of justice and peace.” The prophet’s message today, he said, might be difficult to hear or digest. “Its message may require us to sacrifice some of the things we hold dear,” he said. “We know that the prophets throughout the ages asked difficult questions – Isaiah, Elijah, Amos, Micah. They had messages that were delivered to people who did not like the message.”

Archbishop Suheil said: “We do not know what the future of this land is. For many centuries people have suffered here under different regimes; and they are suffering again today. The young and the old are fearful of the future. Many say – ‘what shall we do?’ or ‘what can we do?’

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Posted in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Middle East

Bishop of Egypt Mouneer Anis responds to the Terror Attack On the Al-Rawda Mosque

From there:

It was reported that a group of terrorists bombed the mosque, and opened fire on the people during the Friday prayers at 1.30 pm. It is said that most of the people killed are Sufis. It is known that militant Salafi and Jihadist groups consider Sufis as heretics. They used to target policemen, soldiers and Christians but now Muslims are also targeted. No group is exempt. This massive bloody attack is the largest during the last few years.

Many world leaders condemned the attack and expressed their support to Egypt in its war against terrorism. We, Egyptians, are determined to fight terrorism and support President Abdel Fatah El Sisi who is leading the war against terrorism in the region.

Terrorism is a great threat to the whole world. This fact puts the responsibility on the international community to stop all groups and organisations which financially support these terrorist groups. These organizations take advantage of the freedom in the European countries to raise funds to support terrorists to carry out their bloody attacks on human beings.

Please pray for the families who lost their loved and the injured.

Posted in Egypt, Islam, Jerusalem & the Middle East, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Archbishop Suheil Dawan elected New Primate for the Province of Jerusalem

The changes were decided upon at a two day meeting of the Synod of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, in Amman, Jordan. In a statement, the Synod said: “We congratulate both Archbishop Suheil and Bishop Michael on their appointments, and we give thanks for Archbishop Mouneer’s service as our Primate since 2007….Please uphold the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East in your prayers.”

Read it all.

Posted in Jerusalem & the Middle East

(JE) Jeffrey Walton on the witness of Egyptian Christians–“How on Earth do you forgive like this?”

Islamic State also claimed responsibility for a December 2016 bombing at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Cairo, which killed 29 people and injured 47 others.

“They were Coptic Orthodox, but we are one Christian family,” the Anglican Archbishop declared. “One of the amazing things that happened is the forgiveness within the church – forgiveness towards the people who exploded themselves – was a great witness.”

Anis recalled one witness pondering aloud “from what substance are these Christians made? How on Earth do you forgive like this?”

“It was moving to many people,” Anis reported. During the funeral for Christians who died in the Palm Sunday attacks, the Coptic bishop who led the service prayed for the assailants.

“This was in all the newspapers, that the bishop prayed for the terrorists, that is amazing,” Anis noted, contrasting with a presumed response of revenge.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Egypt, Jerusalem & the Middle East, Middle East

Archbishop of Canterbury visits Gaza amidst his ongoing trip to the Holy Land

Archbishop Justin Welby, accompanied by Archbishop Suheil Dawani, visited two hospitals in Gaza City, led worship in the chapel of the city’s Anglican hospital, and met members of Gaza’s Christian community.

He also visited Gaza War Cemetery, where British and imperial troops who fought in Gaza in 1917 are buried.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Jerusalem & the Middle East, Middle East

(AI) Bp Mouneer Anis–Please pray for us and for Egypt

Palm Sunday this year was a sad one. As I was going to celebrate Palm Sunday at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo, I heard the news of the explosions at Mar Girgis [St George’s] Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta, in the middle of the Nile Delta area. During the Service, I heard of another explosion at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. The outcome of these terrorist attacks is that 45 were killed and 129 injured, some of whom were Muslim policemen and guards. Sadness overshadowed all Palm Sunday celebrations all over Egypt.

Intensive security measures and regulations have been made since this last Saturday. This included security personnel emptying all the streets around the churches and cathedrals of cars with extra policemen and sniffer dogs checking all church buildings and worshippers before Services start. I believe these measures were done to safeguard all church buildings in the country. Although the security was very tight, the evildoers have their own ways and it is extremely difficult to achieve 100 per cent security. This was also the case behind the recent terrorist attacks in Sweden, Britain, Germany and France.

Both terrorist attacks were done by suicide bombers. In Tanta, the suicide bomber succeeded to enter the Church, while in Alexandria, the metal detector gates beeped as the bomber was going through and to avoid being arrested, he detonated the bomb.

As I am writing these words, the burial of the Coptic Orthodox martyrs from the Church in Alexandria are being held at Mar Mina Monastery in a mass grave.

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Posted in Coptic Church, Egypt, Holy Week, Jerusalem & the Middle East, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Terrorism, Violence