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Arab Spring turning into winter: The Church of England Newspaper, March 28, 2014 April 11, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Coptic Orthodox.
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The Arab Spring was “not a spring or even an autumn, it was a winter,” said the Patriarch of Alexandria, Tawadros II, denouncing the revolutions that had stirred the Middle East and North Africa since 2010. In an interview broadcast on 22 March 2014 on the al-Watan network, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church said Western support for the revolutions had been profoundly misguided as was its support of the former President Muhammad Mursi, who ruled “in the name of religion” while distorting the tenets of Islam.  The Patriarch gave his blessing to General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, leader of the coup that had ousted Mursi calling him “the hero of the June Revolution who had saved Egypt”, adding support for the general’s bid for election as the country’s next president was an act of “patriotism”.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 76, July 16, 2013 July 16, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Church of England, GAFCON, The Episcopal Church.
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This Week’s Anglican Unscripted talks about itself? Well, it is the second anniversary of AU and George and Kevin are still bewildered by the shows success. Your Hosts also talk about the Summer of Egypt and the plight of Christian Brothers and Sisters in the Middle East. There has also been a shakeup at Lambeth Palace (per Kevin and George’s request? ) and this week’s AU talks about PR and bad PR.

Allan Haley discusses the Legal wranglings of the Opera and Peter talks about the problem with Sex, Decisions, and Timing in the Church of England.

Kevin and George close out the program talking about the Trayvon Martin and the George Zimmerman court decision. And, your hosts are still fundraising for a trip to GAFCON! Tweet: #AU76 Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com

00:00 AU 2nd Anniversary
10:49 Egypt’s Sizzling Summer
16:37 Lambeth Press Relations
21:08 A Night at the Opera
29:00 Same Sex Sex
41:26 Gafcon in the News
48:29 Trayvon
52:15 George Health Update / Gafcon News

Anglican Unscripted Episode 64: February 3, 2013 February 4, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Church of England, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Property Litigation, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
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In this week’s episode of Anglican Unscripted your host discuss the adventure (misadventures) of Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori as she descended onto the city of Charleston last week. Allan Haley examines the legal details of the preemptive strike launched against TEC and Schori and how this battle was won. There is also much international news with stories on Egypt and Nigeria and no AU is complete without a story from Canterbury with Peter Ould – this time he talks about the coming wave of Same-Sex Marriage in England . Tweet #AU64 Comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com

Democracy not enough, Bishop Nazir Ali warns: Anglican Ink, October 30, 2012 October 30, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Politics.
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The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali

Democracy can kill a society unless it is tempered with a respect for human rights and equality, the former Bishop of Rochester told a London audience last week in a forum devoted to “Christianity at a Crossroads in the Middle East.”

Speaking at All Souls Langham Place on 25 October 2012 at an event sponsored by the Middle Eastern Christian satellite television broadcaster SAT-7, Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali warned “democracy can mean the tyranny of the majority.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Church leaders urge Egypt’s new president to support religious tolerance: The Church of England Newspaper, September 2, 2012 p 6. September 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Islam, Persecution.
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The sacking of the country’s top generals puts an end to 52 years of military rule and restores the rule of law to Egypt, President Mohammed Morsi told a gathering of Christian leaders this week, the Bishop of Egypt Dr. Mouneer Anis writes.

On 22 August, Dr. Anis along with 12 other bishops and ministers representing Egypt’s  Coptic Orthodox Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant Churches met for two hours at the presidential palace with the new president.

“I, and all my colleagues, appreciated the fact that the President called us twice in less than two months to talk and listen to us. This never happened in the last 30 years,” Dr. Anis said.

“The President shared with us the reasons behind his recent decisions to dismiss the military chiefs and the cancelling of the constitutional declarations they made. By these decisions the President put an end to the military ruling of the country which started since 1952. He also shared his hopes that the new Constitution would represent the hopes and views of all Egyptian regardless of their religion, ethnic background and political views. This will guarantee the support of the vast majority of people to the new constitution,” the bishop reported.

Asked to share with him the concerns of Egypt’s Christian minority, the church leaders urged the president to clamp down on sectarian violence.  “Ignorance and wrong teaching are behind such congestion,” they told the president and urged him to support the “sound and moderate religious teaching of Islam as taught by Al Azhar.”

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood before his run for office, President Morsi has supported the introduction of Shari’a law in Egypt. At a 13 May rally broadcast by Misr-25 TV, he told supporters the Koran would be the true constitution of Egypt.

“Above all – Allah is our goal… The shari’a, then the shari’a, and finally, the shari’a. This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic shari’a. I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text [of the constitution]… Allah willing, the text will truly reflect [the shari’a], as will be agreed upon by the Egyptian people, by the Islamic scholars, and by legal and constitutional experts,” he proclaimed.

The Christian leaders urged the president to improve the quality of Egypt’s schools to “care for the education of the new generations so that they become more tolerant and good citizens. We suggested that common values should be taught in schools,” Dr Anis said.

They also asked the president to ensure non-partisan policy and that the security services apply the “rule of law on everyone, especially when sectarian clashes” as well as take steps to improve public order across the country.

“We told the President that we are aware that he received a heavy responsibility at a very difficult time in Egypt’s history and we all need to be patient and hard-working in order to see the desired fruits,” the bishop reported, adding the president “assured us that he is working to achieve the dream of Egypt: to be a democratic and modern country where the rights of citizenship and the constitution are held up high.”

“In the end, we came out of the meeting very encouraged and determined to do our best in order to see the Egypt that we dream of,” said Dr. Anis.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Arab Spring a security threat to Britain, Defence Chief warns: The Church of England Newspaper, December 23, 2011 p 6. December 23, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Al Qaeda, British Foreign Policy, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Islam.
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General Sir David Richards

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Arab Spring could lead to outbreaks of Islamist unrest in Britain, the Chief of the Defence Staff has warned.

In a lecture given to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on 14 December 2011,General Sir David Richards said radicalization born of the regime changes across the Middle East might well pose a domestic security threat for the U.K.

However, the collapse of the euro was Britain’s most immediate danger.  “I am clear that the single biggest strategic risk facing the UK today is economic rather than military,” Sir David said.

“This is why the eurozone crisis is of such huge importance,” he said, as “no country can defend itself if bankrupt.”

In his year in review address to the RUSI, the defence chief highlighted Britain’s strategic risks and opportunities.  The United States’ new strategic focus on Asia had lead to a refinement of the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K.  “I know this does not mean it will turn its back on Europe and NATO but countries this side of the pond need to think through what this means to us,” he said.

“NATO is the bedrock of our security,” Sir David said, and had “guaranteed peace in Europe for 60 years and, as Libya and Afghanistan demonstrate, enables us to project power efficiently in concert with others to pursue our national interests.”

But a changing world will see “new groupings” emerge.  “The most obvious is our alliance with the French,” he said, adding that military ties were now stronger than the “Entente Cordiale of a century ago.”

The military alliance with France was a “vehicle for joint action.  Libya sealed this for us and demonstrated the benefits to Britain, Europe and NATO of having a solid Franco-British core.”

He added that the UK “will require other carefully chosen alliances over the coming decade through which to influence the strategic landscape and help determine the outcome of fast moving crises, all at minimum cost. “

The nature of the risks facing Britain was also changing. “What is happening in Syria is in many experts view becoming a proxy conflict between Shia Iranians and Sunni Arabs,” Sir David said.

There was also the “risk that the Arab awakening leads to fissures and internal conflict that could be exported, including militant Islamism,” he said.

Departing from his prepared speech the general added that militant Islam and the Arab world have “diasporas reaching back to this country, as does Pakistan and other states struggling with instability.”

Anglican Unscripted, Sept 2, 2011 September 3, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV.
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This week’s episode is brought to you by Anglican Prespective – http://americananglican.org/ap and by the Western Anglicans Salt Conference http://www.ecclesia.us/ Kevin and George discuss some very recent history and the Church in China. Allan Haley discuses some of the unconstitutional legal tactics of TEC and Peter Ould talks about new challenges to the Church of Scotland.


Put people before profit, bishop tells Isle of Man govt: The Church of England Newspaper, July 29, 2011 p 4. August 1, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop Robert Paterson

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Bishop of Sodor and Man has pressed the Isle of Man to give precedence to freedom and democracy over banking profits in its relations with overseas governments.

On 12 July Bishop Robert Paterson tabled a question before the Manx legislature, the Tynwald, urging Chief Minister Tony Brown to reconsider the double-taxation treaty signed with Bahrain earlier this year in light of the Gulf state’s violent suppression of human rights.

In a statement given to the BBC last week, Bishop Paterson stated thata number of people in Bahrain have been treated very badly in recent times and so I thought this is something the Isle of Man government ought to think about again.”

The ‘Arab Spring’ has seen the collapse of authoritarian governments in Egypt and Tunisia, protests in Syria and has spread to Bahrain. February protests calling for the ouster of King Hamad bin al-Khalifa were violently suppressed and martial law declared on 15 March.

On 21 April Foreign Secretary William Hague released a statement voicing concern “at events in Bahrain.”

There continue to be “many credible reports of human rights abuses,” Mr Hague said, and the “arrests of opposition figures, the reports of deaths in custody, allegations of torture and the denial of medical treatment, are extremely troubling.”

Bishop Paterson told the BBC that it while it was “very unlikely I will persuade the Chief Minister to end connections with Bahrain, the point is just simply to say that this is an issue and I hope the government just won’t simply go along the line that says that as long as financially everything is good for the island, then everything is OK — because that is not always the case.”

Following the declaration of martial law, Bishop Paterson pushed for a 90-day delay in ratifying the tax treaty — but was defeated by the government. Last week he submitted a question to the government asking for an explanation for its continued ties to the sheikdom.

On 12 July the chief minister Tony Brown responded the Isle of Man would not void the tax treaty with the Bahrain, though the government was “very responsive to the actions of the international community in general, and the United Kingdom in particular.”

However it would urge King Hamid and his government to “meet all of its human rights obligations and uphold political freedoms, and to carry out investigations into alleged abuses by Bahraini security forces.”

“We welcome the King of Bahrain’s announcement this month to establish an independent commission to look into allegations of human rights abuses, and his commitment to a national dialogue with groups across the country,” Mr Brown said.