Category : The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

(BBC) Archbishop of Canterbury to meet Palestinian and Israeli leaders

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to meet Palestinian and Israeli political leaders as part of a 12-day tour of the Holy Land.
His visit comes two weeks before US President Donald Trump is due to arrive in Jerusalem to try to revive the moribund peace process.
However, the Most Reverend Justin Welby indicated there should not be too much significance read into the timing.
“I come to pray, to share, to listen, to encourage,” he told the BBC.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Violence

(ACNS) Egyptian Anglicans in peace building partnership with Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Egypt has announced a landmark partnership with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria Library) to advance co-operation in the art, science, culture, peace-building, dialogue and the combating of extremism. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a modern organisation designed to “recapture the spirit” of the ancient library of Alexandria ”“ one of the world’s earliest such institution.

The original library was founded by Ptolemy I in 288 BC; and suffered numerous attacks before disappearing in the seventh century. Julius Caesar is said to have set fire to it during a civil war in 48 BC; it was attacked by Aurelian between AD 270 and 275; the Coptic Pope Theophilus outlawed it as a pagan temple in 391; and there are claims that it was destroyed during the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 642.

The modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina was opened in October 2002 and has shelf-space for eight million books. It was created “to recapture the spirit of the original Library of Alexandria as a centre for learning, dialogue, and rationality,” Archbishop Mouneer said. Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast was chosen by Alexander the Great to be the capital of his empire in 320 BC. “It soon became the most powerful and influential city in the region,” Archbishop Mouneer said, adding that the original library “functioned as an academy, research centre, and library,” he said that “the great thinkers of the age flocked to Alexandria to study and exchange ideas.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Books, Egypt, History, Middle East, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Urban/City Life and Issues

[Abp Mouneer Anis] Appointment of a New Area Bishop at North Africa


(Diocese of Egypt)

Dear Friends

I am happy to let you know that I have appointed The Very Reverend Dr Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Dean of St Mark Pro-Cathedral Alexandria, as the new Area Bishop of North Africa. We have received the approval of the majority of the Provincial Synod of Jerusalem and The Middle East for this appointment. Dean Samy will be the second Area Bishop of North Africa, after Bishop Bill Musk.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

(ACNS) Bishop of Egypt calls for prayer and advocacy after “hostile takeover”


(Diocesan photo from diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa)

The Bishop of Egypt, Dr Mouneer Anis, has called on Anglicans to pray and advocate with their local Egyptian consulates and embassies after a court ruling effectively subsumed the diocese into a separate denominational body. Dr Anis, who is also the Archbishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, told ACNS that the Evangelical Church Association (ECA) has been laying claim to the Anglican Episcopal Diocese of Egypt for several years. Now, after a 14-year legal battle, a court has ruled that the Anglican Church in Egypt belongs to the ECA and can only be represented by the ECA President.

“This preposterous claim did not just stop there,” Dr Anis said. “They further claimed that they can take possession of all of the Episcopal/Anglican Church properties as their own. They are now forcing us to take their approval before we notarise any document in the government. Moreover, we need to receive the approval of the ECA before we ask immigration to grant or renew visas to our workers. This is causing us a great deal of trouble.”

The diocese is appealing against the court’s decision and a new hearing will be held on Tuesday (1 November).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

Day 3 Report from the Cairo Global South Conference

[Michael] Glerup’s lectures were sandwiched between two Bible studies led by senior leaders in the Global South. Archbishop Ng Moon Hing of Southeast Asia spoke on the church and the challenge of unity, while Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda spoke on the church and the challenge of false teaching.

Disunity has been a hallmark of both human and church history, Hing said, and neither theocracy nor democracy has a good track record in overcoming it. Paul’s ethic in Ephesians 2, however, establishes a new pattern in which a Christian is to be simultaneously a responsible citizen of God’s kingdom, and a faithful member of God’s household.
The disease is connected to false teaching, said Ntagali, but like the corruption rampant in many parts of the Global South, this is a symptom rather than the disease itself.

It is secularism that has become the dominant philosophy of the world, he said, with God no longer at the center. This allows some to claim the Christian name while not following Christ, while others claim the grace of God as a license to do what they want.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

Please join us in praying for the Sixth Global South to South Anglican Encounter this week

It will take place at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, this week from October 3-8, under the leadership of Archbishop Mouneer Anis. Bishop Mark Lawrence was invited and is attending. You can read more about the conference there.


(The Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa photo)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Spirituality/Prayer, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

[Brookings] What Egypt under Sissi is really like for Coptic Christians

Last month in Minya, Egypt, a 70-year-old Christian woman was beaten and dragged through the streets naked by a mob because her son was suspected of having an affair with a Muslim woman. Horrors like these have renewed fears of religious discord in Egypt. President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and his government regularly describe Egypt as unified and have worked hard””publicly””to reduce Muslim-Christian tension. But the Minya event has once again demonstrated the relative impunity of the Egyptian police, who failed to respond to earlier warnings of a violent, religiously-motivated attack and took hours to appear on the scene.

The status of Coptic Christians in Egypt has for the most part remained unchanged since Anwar Sadat came to power in 1970. Today, there is little Christian representation in government, and sectarian violence is all but commonplace. But many have suggested that President Sissi is more respectful of minority rights than his predecessors, and many Christians supported Sissi’s rise to power.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

[Dio Egypt] Please pray for Gambella region

After Nuer refugee children were killed in a road accident mobs of ”˜highlanders’ [the Gambellan term for those from central Ethiopia] bent on revenge against Nuer refugees for the murder of numerous highlanders were turned back by the Ethiopia army ”“ this is significant because the vast majority of soldiers are themselves highlanders..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Bishop Mouneer in Iran


(Diocese of Egypt)

Bishop Mouneer wrote :

I am now in a pastoral visit to our churches in Iran. Yesterday was the first service in St Paul Church in Tehran. The people in this church reminded me with the ” Faithful Remnants ” who waiting for the Lord. I rejoiced and prayed so that the Lord may bless them and send servants to encourage them.

+Mouneer

Read it all and please consider joining Bishop Mouneer in his prayers. There are some more prayers here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Call to Prayer for Gambella Week of April 24

The following is an update from SAMS missionaries, Johann and Louise Vanderbijl in Gambella, Ethiopia:

We are calling for a week of prayer for Gambella, from Sunday, April 24 to Sunday May 1.

Last night, a “highlander” was bringing water to refugees in a nearby camp called Jewi when he accidentally hit and killed two Nuer. The driver and some innocent bystanders were immediately beaten to death and more were murdered later that night brining the total up to nine. This is not the only recent incident preceding and following the Jikwo, Lare, and Nininyang massacre. The hatred has to stop somewhere and we are asking the Lord to do what appears to be impossible for humans in spite of their best attempts.

Also, we had planned to bring in a Professor from Addis to teach all our students, both full-time and part-time, on the subject of Early African Church History. This is scheduled for May 2 ”“ 6. Our faculty believe that we must take a step of faith and proceed with this course even though at present fear still keeps our students apart. We believe that this fear is not from God as He clearly says He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind and we believe we must take a public stand in faith. While we will not force anyone to attend, we are encouraging our Nuer brethren to allow us to bus them to and from the Anglican Centre.

And so we need your prayers for that week also. Satan is seeking to bring this College to its knees”¦and so to our knees we will go! Remember, St Frumentius is the only seminary in the area. It is no wonder that the forces of darkness rally against us in such a violent manner!

I include a poem I wrote after the most recent killing in Jewi…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Gambella Ethiopia: Serious Prayer Request

This morning I woke up to the news that over 160 people had been slaughtered in the area of Gambella, Ethiopia within our Diocese. Many children were abducted, and cattle and food stolen. This news came from Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl, Dean of our St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College, Gambella, Ethiopia. The fear is that this conflict may escalate and spread.

Please pray for safety and wisdom for Bishop Grant and Rev Johann and all staff in the Anglican center and the churches of that area. Pray also for the people of this very inflamed region.

You can read more about these events in the article at this link.

Bishop Mouneer

Read it all and you can watch Bishop Grant talking about Gambella here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Gambella Ethiopia Urgent Prayer Request

From Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl
Would y’all consider joining us in urgent prayer for Gambella? We simply cannot find a venue acceptable to both groups. While the students have no problem with each other, they are fearful of those who might seek to harm them if they should come into the other group’s territory”¦which is a legitimate fear. The costs involved in renting space are astronomical and therefore not an option. We have asked the local force if it would be possible to guard the compound while classes are in session. There just doesn’t seem to be an obvious or easy solution to this vexing problem, but we know that the Lord is able to change the hearts of even the most stubborn and to turn tragedy into triumph for His kingdom. So, please consider praying with us for peace.

This is something only our sovereign God can do”¦

Read it all and there is background here and here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Breaking–Bishop Mouneer Anis decides not to attend the 2016 ACC Meeting in Lusaka

The following letter from Bishop Anis is released with his permission–KSH. [pdf]

My dear brother archbishops,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to let you know that I have decided not to attend the ACC-16 in Lusaka. My decision has come after a long period of prayer and conversations. As many of you know, it is not easy for me to withdraw from meetings, but this time I felt that if I were to attend, I would be betraying my conscience, my people, and the Primates who worked hard last January to reach a temporary solution in order to keep walking together until such time as we can reach a permanent solution.

I thought that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting in January would be followed through and TEC would not be represented in the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion but sadly this is not the case.
I don’t mind the participation of TEC in the General Meeting of the ACC, but the decision of the Primates was very clear that they should not be nominated or elected in internal standing committees.

Although I was disturbed by the statements made by the chairman of the ACC while he was in the USA, I had still intended to attend the meeting. However, as it became clear that the decision of the Primates’ Meeting about the participation of TEC in the Standing Committee would be disregarded, it was then that I decided not to attend.

I see that there is a lot of confusion about the role of the Primates’ Meeting and the ACC. Neither have jurisdiction within provinces, but both have roles in regulating the relationship between provinces. The Primates’ Meeting has “enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” (Lambeth 1988) and to make “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity” (Lambeth 1998). Some think that because the ACC is the most representative of the instruments (including bishops, clergy, and laity), it is more authoritative. This is not true. It’s very name, “consultative”, reminds us that it is not an “Anglican Synod” but merely an advisory group. The Instruments of Unity, in order to have good relationships, need to support each others’ decisions in those areas of responsibility given to them by Lambeth Councils.

I will be praying for the members of the ACC-16 so that they may affirm and respect the decisions of the Primates’ Meeting. If this happens, it will bring hope back and we will be able to think of the future together.

(signed)

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop of Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Read it all [pdf]

ACC-16 Decision on Letterhead.pdf by The Elves

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

Watch a Q&A Johann Vanderbijl with Dean of St Frumentius' Anglican Theological College, Gambella

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ethiopia, Seminary / Theological Education, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology

[Bishop Mouneer Anis] Celebrating the Life of Bishop Ghais Abdel Malik

Last Saturday, March 5th, was the funeral of Bishop Ghais Malik (1930”“2016). The event was a wonderful celebration of his life. It was a joyful celebration of someone leaving their earthly life and going to the City of God to enjoy eternal life. His daughter Claire intentionally wore white dress, unlike many who wore black. His son Awny played the piano. “I love to sing for my father,” Awny said. White flowers filled the sanctuary.

The service was an amazing ecumenical gathering with five senior Coptic Orthodox Bishops who came to represent Pope Tawadros II. Two Catholic Bishops came to represent the Catholic church and many others from the Presbyterian and other evangelical denominations attended. The cathedral was packed with people from all churches. President Sisi also sent a delegation to give his condolences.

The theme of my tribute was: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, NIV). Indeed if we want to summarise Bishop Ghais and his life, the best word to describe him is “faithful”. He was faithful in his service to God, faithful as a bishop serving ministers, and faithful as a husband and a father. Bishop Ghais will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East