President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine confers on Bishop Riah Abo El Assal the Star of Jerusalem Order on 31 May in recognition of his work on behalf of peace, justice and reconciliation. A richly deserved recognition. Source: Amad
An Open Letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York
Dear Archbishops Welby and Cottrell
We write as supporters of an organisation called CAMPAIN, a group that challenges misrepresentation and misinformation in public affairs and the news media. It is a non-partisan body with members belonging to all political parties and none, and members of the Christian faith, other faiths and none. The instigators of this letter are Christian (including Ordained Priests). However, whether Christian or not, most people in the UK expect the established church and its leaders to be a beacon of hope in the dark areas of this world that will publicly stand up for the rights of ALL people – not just those who claim a faith.
We note that the Church of England sets out its role in the world in its Five Marks of Mission. All signatories of this letter share a commitment to the fourth Mark which is “to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation”.
New Appointment as Bishop’s Chaplain
Re. Bishop’s Chaplain
Salaam in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection from the death we celebrate these days ever proclaiming: “Jesus Christ is risen”.
In recognition of our long-standing relationship of over thirty years, I am writing to formally invite you to become my chaplain in the UK, to assist me when I am visiting, or to advise me in the fulfilment of my episcopal duties, albeit in retirement.
My dear Stephen, you are a person of integrity and forthright views with the courage to express them.
At the same time you have always shown the utmost respect for the adherents of different faiths, in particular to Jews and Moslems, while advocating for Christian presence in the Land of the Holy One, Israel and Palestine, and campaigning for Palestinian Human Rights.
I wish more servants of Christ, bishops and clergy, Anglicans and others, were as courageous as you in challenging the destructive effects of Israeli apartheid and Christian Zionism on both Jews and Palestinians.
I appreciate your prayers, your advocacy and solidarity with the Church in the Holy Land.
Know this comes with my prayers and my sincere thanks in advance.
+Bishop Riah Abo El Assal
I have been assisting Bishop Riah in the fulfilment of his episcopal duties in an informal capacity for decades. It is a delight and honour to have that role more formally recognised.
Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams for Egypt: An Interview with Archbishop Mouneer
In this interview, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of the Episcopal Anglican Province of Alexandria discusses a new initiative in partnership with the Rose Castle Foundation and Centre of Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership, helping to train teams of Christians and Muslins to form Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Teams to serve in Egypt.
The first team of Muslim and Christian leaders have now been trained and begun to initiate peace building projects. The need is great, especially in Upper Egypt.
The plan therefore is to train five further teams in 2023. The budget for this is modest – $16,000. If you would like to support this exciting project you may do so through the Friends of the Anglican Province of Alexandria (specifying your gift is for the Peace Building Team).
You can make a donation by bank transfer in UK Sterling directly to the FAPA account: Account No: 00018311 Sort Code: 40-52-40
Peacemaker trust is delighted to promote this exciting peacemaking project and hope that you will also.
In May 2022, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, First Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, launched the Centre for Christian Muslim Understanding and Partnership at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. The vision is to promote peace and harmony between faith communities through more understanding of faiths, cultures and through working together for the common good.
Read more here.
Bishop Richard Llewellin Joins Peacemaker’s Board of Reference
We are delighted to announce that the Right Revd Richard Llewellin has kindly agreed to join the Peacemaker International Board of Reference. Bishop Richard becomes the 10th Anglican Bishop or Archbishop to do so.
Bishop Richard was ordained in 1964 and was a curate at Radlett. After serving a second curacy at Johannesburg Cathedral, and being expelled from South Africa by the apartheid Nationalist government of the day in 1971, he was then successively the Vicar of Waltham Cross, the Rector of Harpenden and a canon of Truro Cathedral before being ordained to the episcopate as the suffragan Bishop of Street Germans (1985-1992).
He later became the suffragan Bishop of Dover (1992-1999) and was subsequently appointed Bishop at Lambeth and Chief of Staff to the Archbishop by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, a position he held until 2004. In retirement he was appointed an honorary fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University.
Bishop Richard is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and has also served as a human rights monitor with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. EAPPI is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches. It brings people from around the world to the West Bank to serve for three months as human rights monitors.
Dr Jeff Halper (ICAHD) on Religious Tribunals
As an Israeli Jew and the head of an Israeli human rights organization – ICAHD, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – I am appalled by the very thought of bringing anyone, let alone such a principled person as Stephen Sizer, before a religious Tribunal. What, are we back to the Medieval days of the Inquisition? I can’t speak for the Church of England, but Jews, the British Board of Deputies, participating in a religious Tribunal?! The very thought is appalling. What has happened to us, Jews and Christians together? Are we willing to return to the dark processes of Tribunals with no legal underpinnings, no genuine evidence or testimony, conducted solely against people whose views we don’t like – besmirch and destroy people’s lives – just to prevent criticism of Israel? Is it really so easy, in the 21st Century, to persecute people for their religious and political views? Savonarola meets Trump?
The charges against Dr. Sizer are untrue and trumped-up – and you all know it. Antisemitism?! How do you possibly defend yourself against such a charge? In the intellectual and democratic world in which most of us live, Dr. Sizer has made a rational, well-researched case for his views and analysis presented in articles, books and lectures based firmly on academic research and religious history. But that is exactly the type of person for which Tribunals are necessary, since analyses like Dr. Sizer presents, unpopular in some partisan circles as they may be, cannot be dismissed in academic circles or barred in courts of law. They must be denounced in Tribunals with no moral, legal or intellectual authority, and as in all religious Tribunals, the person maligned and destroyed in order to somehow delegitimize his or her views. I am embarrassed for all of you – and downright angry at the Jews who participate in the dark proceeding of religious Tribunals.Continue reading
Book Aid: Remembering Bishop John Ellison
Yesterday I collected about 15 boxes of Christian literature for Book Aid from the Oasis Christian Centre in Romsey which acts as a hub for donations from customers. We then take on to Book Aid’s regional hub in Southsea.
Last week I also received a collection of theological books donated from the estate of the Right Revd John Ellison, former Anglican Bishop of Paraguay 1988-2007 who died in 2019. John had been a good friend, an occasional preacher at Christ Church, Virginia Water, and more recently, a member of the Peacemakers International Board of Reference. We are grateful to John’s family for some of his theological books donated to Book Aid. Andrew Symes wrote a moving testimony to John’s life and ministry for Anglican Mainstream. In these two short videos I interviewed Bishop John about the state of the Episcopal Church in North America and the Church of England.Continue reading
Archbishop Mouneer Anis on the Centre for Christian Muslim Understanding and Partnership
An interview with Archbishop Mouneer Anis, First Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria, about the launch of the Centre for Christian Muslim Understanding and Partnership at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo this week. The vision is to promote peace and harmony between faith communities through more understanding of faiths, cultures and through working together for the common good.
The Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt played an important role in the drafting of the interfaith agreement between the Anglican Communion and Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, signed in 2002 at Lambeth Palace in London. Since then, the Diocese and Al-Azhar have worked together on many community projects through Egypt, and have arranged and participated in an annual dialogue meeting.
The Centre for Christian-Muslim Understanding and Partnership was established in order to bring these projects together in one organisation, in order to further develop and resource this vital work in the future. The idea for such a centre was developed and supported by the Anglican Archbishop of Alexandria, the Most Rev. Dr. Samy Fawzy Shehata, and His Eminence, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al-Tayyeb. Archbishop Samy then asked Archbishop Emeritus Mouneer Anis to develop the centre and serve as its first director.
Carlisle Diocese Endorses Kairos ‘Cry for Hope’ in Support of Palestinian Christians
Carlisle Diocese passes historic motion endorsing the Kairos, ‘Cry for Hope’ in support of Palestinian Christians.
On Saturday 9th of October 60 members of the Church of England gathered together under the leadership of the Bishop of Carlisle, The Rt Revd James Newcome for their autumn Diocesan Synod meeting. Members included clergy and lay people. On their agenda was a motion passed by Solway Deanery, calling on the Church of England to be more proactive in its support and solidarity with Palestinian Christians.The motion, presented by Solway Deanery member Valerie Hallard, read as follows:
That This Synod:
• Endorses the “Cry for Hope” expressed by Palestinian Christians and the ‘Global Kairos for Justice’ coalition (GKfJ);
• Requests that the Faith and Order Commission produce a report which analyses and refutes any theological justifications, for example, those promoted by some Christian Zionists, for the oppression of Palestinians;
• Instructs the Ethical Investment Advisory Group to provide guidance to the National Investing Bodies (NIBs) and Dioceses that will enable them to screen their investments and thereby make decisions regarding engagement with, and divestment from, companies which profit from the occupation.
Bishop Azad Marshall elected as Moderator of the Church of Pakistan
Bishop Azad Marshall of the Diocese of Raiwind has been unanimously elected Moderator of the Church of Pakistan (The Anglican Church of Pakistan became the United Church when it merged with three other denominations in 1970). This position has a three year term. He succeeds Bishop Humphrey Peters. Bishop Azad is also a valued member of the Peacemaker International Board of Reference.
In December 2016, Bishop Azad was honoured by the government of Pakistan for his work on human rights. He was one of 40 recipients of awards last weekend to mark International Human Rights Day. Bishop Azad received the Presidential Award for Human Rights from the President of Pakistan, Muhammad Mamnoon Hussain, during an award ceremony at the President’s House.
Bishop Azad is the President of National Council of Churches in Pakistan. “He has no doubt a long and continuous record of contributing to educational development and human rights in Pakistan,” a statement from the Diocese of Raiwind said. “We congratulate him and pray for his continuous ministry in Pakistan and beyond.”
The diocese thanked the Pakistan government “for recognising and nominating distinguished citizens committed to upholding the poor and the marginalized [and] for upholding their human rights.”