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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”.

Chaos in Egypt: Anglican Ink, August 22, 2013 August 22, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Coptic Orthodox, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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The political chaos in Egypt can only be resolved by Egyptians, the country’s Council of Churches has declared, warning foreign governments and jihadists to keep out of Egypt.

The Council, led by Pope Tawadros II, “affirmed the right of its citizens to defend themselves against terrorism.” It follows a weekend of anti-Christian violence and arson by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have destroyed over four dozen Christian churches and schools this week.

The 17 Aug 2013 statement from the pan-Christian council, which represents the Coptic, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and reformed churches comes in the wake of reports that Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis had been detained by police after Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations were dispersed.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt, on 14 Aug 2013 released a statement reporting St. Saviour’s Anglican Church in Suez was “under heavy attack from those who support former President Mursi.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Archbishop Welby to tour Holy Land: The Church of England Newspaper, June 30, 2013 p 6. June 28, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Israel.
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The Lambeth Palace press office reports the Archbishop of Canterbury will make his first visit Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week.

Archbishop Justin Welby will meet with Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, tour biblical sites and meet with government and civil society figures.

The press statement said the Archbishop was “making this trip early in his ministry because of the significance of the region, the importance of the relationships that his office has there, and because he is keenly aware of the particular pressures on the region at the moment – not least the devastating conflict in Syria, and its impact more widely.”

Accompanied by the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, the Bishop of Egypt and primate of the province and the Bishop in Jerusalem the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani, Archbishop Welby is scheduled to meet the Coptic Patriarch, Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb.

In Jerusalem, the Archbishop will meet the Patriarchs and Head of Churches in Jerusalem and representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

He had been scheduled to meet Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, but the Ashkenazi chief rabbi has suspended himself from ministry and will refrain from carrying out any official roles during a police inquiry into charges of fraud and bribery allegations. Police raided his home and office last week following an undercover investigation into his financial dealings. The Chief Rabbi denies  the allegations.

Archbishop Welby will visit the Church of the Resurrection, the Western Wall, and Yad Vashem as well as the church hospital in Ramallah.

The Israeli press has welcomed the new Archbishop’s visit. An editorial in Arutz Sheva noted: “Archbishop Welby’s visit is highly symbolic. It is a sign that he is willing to embrace Christianity’s (and his own) Jewish roots, which is particularly important at a time when many in the Church – especially on the Left – are distancing themselves from the biblical concept of the Jews as the people destined to reside in the land of Israel.”

Egypt’s parliament endorses Sharia law: Anglican Ink, November 29, 2012 November 29, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Politics.
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President Mohammad Mursi of Egypt

Egypt’s Constituent Assembly has endorsed Article 2 of the country’s proposed constitution making Sharia law the basis for the country’s civil legal code.

On 29 Nov 2012 members of the Egyptian parliament began voting on each of the 234 article proposed by a constitutional committee chartered by President Mohammad Mursi. However, representatives of Egypt’s Christian communities and the opposition walked out of the talks last week after the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated drafting committee refused to compromise over Sharia law.

The Egyptian Independent reported there was uncertainty until the start of voting as to whether a quorum would be reached.  The 100-member chamber requires 67 members to be present to vote on the constitution and 22-members had announced they would boycott the proceedings.  However, the ruling party was able to call upon reserve members of Parliament, elected as alternates at the last election, to fill seats deemed to have been vacated.  At the start of the vote on Thursday afternoon 85 members answered the roll call.

Article 2, Sharia Law, which states that “the principles of the Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation,” remains unchanged from the 1971 constitution. However a new clause, Article 221 states that these principles are to be deduced from its fundamental rules and its Sunni sources.  The constitution also gives religious scholars at the Al-Azhar University the right to consult on the interpretation of Sharia law and its relation to the civil code.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Egypt’s Christians must stick together, new pope tells Anglicans: Anglican Ink, November 7, 2012 November 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Coptic Orthodox, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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Pope Tawadros II and Dr. Mouneer Anis

Christians in Egypt must put their denominational differences to one side and work together towards transforming Egyptian society, the newly elected Patriarch of Alexandria has told Bishop Mouneer Anis, the Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

In a 7 November 2012 letter Dr. Anis told Anglican Ink that he met with the newly elected pope, who will assume the name Pope Tawadros II upon his enthronement on 18 Nov at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo.

The meeting with the new leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church at St Bishoy’s Monastery in Wadi Natroun was a joyful occasion Dr. Anis wrote. Tawadros told the Middle East and North Africa’s Anglican leader “it is important that we have a strong and cordial relationship with each other” and that the Orthodox and Anglicans pray for each other so that they fulfill God’s purposes for their ministry.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.