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Egyptian Council of Churches

New Egyptian Council of Churches

Feb. 26, 2013

by Joel Elowsky

CEAC executive director, Dr Michael Glerup, has represented the CEAC in Egypt on a number of occasions where he was given the opportunity to speak at ecumenical luncheons hosted by Primate Hanna Anis Mouneer of the Anglican Church in Egypt. At these meetings there were representatives from Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican churches.

This past week, as an article in Christianity Today notes, there was a monumental in shift the modern history of Egyptian Christianity. On Monday (Feb. 18), heads of the five largest denominations—Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican—united to create Egypt's first Council of Churches. This group stands as a united front in an Egypt where Christianity is a minority. In a country that is otherwise sorely divided, such a council could, in some ways, present a united front that is not based on politics but based on faith. The strength and support these groups can offer to one another inside Egypt would seem to be a welcome development in the life of the church in Egypt.  As Jayson Casper reports in his blog for Christianity Today: ". . . the council is mandated with coordinating between the churches, promoting their unity, and encouraging Muslim-Christian dialogue. Leadership will rotate between the heads of the denominations, each of which will be represented equally. This, in particular, demonstrates the significance of the council, as Egypt’s Orthodox vastly outnumber members of the other four churches."

To view how this is being seen outside of Egypt we invite the reader to follow the link to his article in Christianity Today blog.

A number of friends and associates of the CEAC were involved in this historic union, including Primate Mouneer of the Anglican communion, Atef Gendy, president of the Evangelical seminary in Cairo, Bp Bishoy who attended our first meeting in Addis Ababa, among others. One of the results of the council was that Pope Tawadros II was appointed to lead the council for the first three years. This appointment also recognizes his recent elevation as pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

For the Egyptian press's reaction see the following link.