We’ve all seen the reports on TV and in the papers telling us that things in Egypt have been changing quickly over the last couple of months. There’s a degree of uncertainty for all the Churches in Egypt as the country, and the rest of the world, waits to see what kind of government will be formed.
The Most Revd Dr Mouneer Annis, the Bishop of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, recently wrote “…the current situation is still foggy. Not only foggy, but it is very, very difficult to predict what is going to happen. There are voices that cry for an Islamic state and other voices that don't want this; they want a secular and pluralistic society based on democracy.
“Christians in Egypt request the dropping of Article 2 of the current Egyptian Constitution which states that the Islamic Sharia is the sole source of legislation. We find this restricting in many ways to the development of a pluralistic democratic country. It also contradicts with Article 40 which affirms rights for every citizen
in all aspects.”
Despite the uncertain political situation, the day-to-day work of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East continues, supported by ABM. The Church is very keen to show God’s
love to the people of Egypt. They have recently created a Mission and Evangelism Taskforce to coordinate the diocesan evangelism strategy.
A full time coordinator has been appointed, and three evangelists have been employed – two in Alexandria and one in Menouf, about 70km from Cairo. Another two will be employed soon. There are two groups of people who will benefit from the work of the Mission and Evangelism Taskforce.
Firstly, the people who are already active in ministry in local churches. They will be trained in evangelism and have the opportunity to put that training into practice. Secondly, and more importantly, those who are nominal believers or who are unchurched will be able to hear the Good News. In Egypt it is estimated that there are about 20,000 Anglicans, and by engaging with local communities the Mission and Evangelism Taskforce hopes that others will be able to participate in the life and body of the local church. The Church hopes to impact on communities as “a light among the darkness.”
Bishop Mouneer writes, “During and after the training, the program will involve sending evangelists to unreached areas where there are no churches, to reach out with the hope of planting churches. It is hoped that many new churches and home groups will be started. We would like to reach 6,838 people in the first year. However, if each person tells only one person, then the impact will multiply exponentially. While we are optimistic, the reality is that this will not be easy. We will need the Grace of God to go before us and prepare the Way.”
Jesus Christ, Son of Mary, Son of God,
the land of Egypt offered safety and shelter to you
when you were a child refugee.
Be with the people of Egypt
in this time of political and social turmoil
that they may be safe and secure.
Be with your Church as it seeks to spread your love
to the people of Egypt.
May you prepare the way
and aid them by your grace
that the people of Egypt may come to know
the eternal life and everlasting love
you offer to all who call on your name.