Thursday, February 5, 2009

Inter-faith project in Egyptian Anglican Church

Anglicans in Egypt are vital for bridge-building between Christians and Muslims, says the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, an Episcopal Church mission partner who has spent the last five years as priest of a suburban church in Cairo.

"Anglicans in this part of the world have a disproportionate influence, which is a real catalyst for building" friendships and understanding between Christians and Muslims, said Chandler, 44, who explained that after the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on September 11, 2001, he sensed a growing divide between East and West.

Chandler saw an opportunity to do creative things at St. John's Church in Maadi, a community he describes as theologically and liturgically broad. Under his leadership since 2003, the church's three priorities have centered on Muslim/Christian relations, community development, and faith and the arts.

Built in 1931, the last building designed by international architect Sir Herbert Baker, the church today is host to 10 congregations worshipping in many different languages and an Arabic service is offered every Sunday evening.

The church's commitment to deepening interfaith relations is highlighted through education programs and cultural events, such as the current exhibition featuring the creative work of 18 Arab and Western artists. More on EpiscopalLifeonline.

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