48. Teaching Evangelism in Egypt

‘Should we sacrifice evangelism for coexistence, or coexistence for evangelism? This debate will concern us for the next several years.’  This quote from Rev. Andrea Zakī ended a presentation by the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo.

47. Vienna Community Church founded 55 years ago by Prof. Dr. Otto Meinardus

Editor: Cornelis Hulsman was asked to write the Vienna Community Church a congratulation on the occasion of their 55th anniversary of their establishment by late AWR board of advisors member Prof. Dr. Otto Meinardus. The text below was placed on the website of the VCC, http://members.aon.at/william/template-7-single-column/Voice18July.htm

46. Mursī Reinstates Egypt’s Parliament

That was fast.

After only one week in office, President Mursī has picked his first fight – he issued a decree to reinstate the dissolved parliament.

Shortly before the run-off election the Supreme Constitutional Court ruled parliament to be unconstitutional based on procedural grounds, and the military council issued a decree to dissolve it.

Mursī, now with the executive power of the presidency, has undone the decree of the council.

52. Egypt: Christians and Muslims united in social approach

One of the members of the Austrian University delegation that visited Egypt between May 23 and June 3 was Daniel Podertschnig who, following his return to Austria reported for the Catholic News Service of Austria. Cornelis Hulsman made a summary translation of his text into English for Arab-West Report.

42. Church fights for school education and is opposed to child labor; discussing article Katholische Press Agentur Osterreich

One of the members of the Austrian University delegation that visited Egypt between May 23 and June 3 was Daniel Podertschnig who, following his return to Austria, reported for the Catholic News Service of Austria.

 

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[Diana Maher Ghali reviewed this article]

Drs. Cornelis Hulsman, General Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Arab West Report, wrote an introduction about Dr. Muhammad ‘Imārah:

He is a former leftist who turned Islamist many years ago. He is a great authority among Islamists. The figures he presents about the decline of Christianity in Europe are to a very large extent correct but he is making impossible and unfair comparisons between declining Christianity and ascending Islam in Europe.
 
The figures he presents of Christians are those who are attending church services. Those percentages are indeed small. But he compares that with total number of Muslims which is also done by many Islamophobes in the West to scare a Western public. If you want to make correct comparisons you have to compare between Muslims attending mosque prayers and Christians attending church services, or between people who are registered as Muslim and people who are registered as Christian. Just as with Christians many Muslims in the West are equally secular. The around one million Muslims in the Netherlands you need to compare with the around six million Christians who are registered as a church members in The Netherlands.

With the assassination of Ahmed Jaabari Israel has assassinated the opportunity for a long term ceasefire between Israel and Gaza

I eagerly read al-Ahrām's interview with Dr. Muhammad 'Imārah on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 entitled "National unity is our lifeline now". Some questions and answers in this interview whetted my curiosity.

Dr. Khālid al-Sa'īd, spokesperson of the salafī front, denounced accusing salafists of storming a Church-owned land affiliated to the Shubrā al-Khaymah Archdiocese and calling to perform prayer in it. He was surprised from circulating these false news, according to him. While Dr. 'Isām Dirbālah, member of al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmīyah's Shūrá Council, said that the land in Shubrā is owned by a Christian who wants to build an Archdiocese without a permit. He said that al-Jamā'ah al-Islāmīyah supports the rights of non-Muslims to practice their religious rituals but legally and that is applied on all Egyptians, whether it is building a church or mosque. He added that if someone breaks the law then the state should penalize that person not individuals. (John 'Abd al-Malāk, Nuhá Lamlūm and Mahmūd Gharīb, al-Misrīyūn, November 7, 2012, p. 4)

There has been widespread condemnation of a fatwá issued by an Azhar Shaykh Hāshim Islām in which he condoned violence against those who are set to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood on August 24, 2012. Islām reasoned that “the 24 August protests are a revolution by ratters against democracy and freedom." [Update: Al-Azhar cleric encourages fighting demonstrators, sparks controversy, Author not mentioned, Egypt Independent, August 15, 2012]

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Newsclippings from International Sources

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The unified houses of worship law, which regulates the construction of mosques and churches in Egypt, is still waiting for the parliament’s approval.

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Egypt has entered into an agreement to buy S-300VM long-range air defence systems for about USD500 million from Russia, the Russian business daily Vedomostireported on 23 September, citing unidentified defence industry officials and a source close to the leadership of the state arms export agency Rosoboronexport.

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Three blocks in the Western Desert and Mediterranean should help Egypt cope with rising energy demands

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The Muslim Brotherhood spent 84 years toiling in Egypt's opposition before winning power in June 2012 only to lose it 369 days later. It has been all downhill for the group since then. In the 14 months since the military responded to huge protests by toppling Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president, the group has faced an unrelenting crackdown that has practically decimated it as a political force in Egypt. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood's deteriorating relations with key foreign governments have hindered its attempts to reorganize in exile. Even so, the group hasn't revised its ideology or changed its strategy. It has refused to seek reconciliation with the new Egyptian regime or question the feasibility of its theocratic agenda. In fact, by selecting the London-based Brotherhood leader Gomaa Amin as acting Supreme Guide -- in other words, its chief executive -- the Brotherhood has likely doubled down.

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Wadi Ramsis, a Coptic doctor who was kidnapped in Sinai two months ago was released Monday after "payment of large sums of [ransom] money," said authorities.

Targeting Copts--especially professionals, who can afford to pay, or children, whose parents become desperate to pay--is becoming endemic to Egypt.

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