Anglican Alliance announces new regional facilitator for the Middle East

Joel and his wife with Archbishop Justin

From Anglican News Service

A former architect from Britain has been appointed as the Anglican Alliance’s first regional facilitator for the Middle East. In this new role, Joel Kelling will seek to build the capacity of the churches of the Province in regard to development, relief and advocacy, and create greater sustainability within the institutions of the Province. He will also be the Provincial Administrator for the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, covering the Dioceses of Cyprus & the Gulf, Egypt and North Africa, Iran, and Jerusalem.

Joel gained an interest in the issues of international development and humanitarian relief following a spell of volunteering in the UK and Ghana with a global housing charity fighting poverty, Habitat for Humanity. He then went on to study for an MA in Development and Emergency Practice at Oxford Brookes University, where he met his wife, Fiona.

Fiona and Joel have since travelled to the Philippines, working in relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan and on to Jerusalem, where Joel moved into serving in the Church, as Executive Assistant to Dean Hosam Naoum. He was instrumental in the organisation and coordination of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby’s visit to the Holy Land earlier in 2017  and has been involved in facilitating both Ecumenical and Inter-faith work in Jerusalem.

He will initially be based in Jerusalem with plans to move to Amman, Jordan in 2018. Joel said: “I am looking forward to continuing to support and uphold the Christians of the Middle East, promoting a ministry of reconciliation, and helping to support greater cooperation and coordination across the Province.”

The Revd Andy Bowerman, Co-Executive Director at the Anglican Alliance said:  “We are delighted to welcome Joel after a careful process of consultation, prayer and discernment with the Province. His appointment comes at a crucial moment in the story of the region and we ask others around the communion to join with us in praying for him as he seeks to fulfil these two demanding roles”.

© Anglican Communion News Service

Chaldean Patriarch Visits Mosul, Three Years After ISIS Took City…

Exactly three years since Mosul was taken by the so called IS Islamic state terror group (DAESH), Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako was able to return to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul visiting churches and monasteries recently retrieved by government forces from IS Islamic terror group domination, including areas to the left of the Tigris River. The Patriarch was accompanied by Archbishop Ramzi Garmou — head of the Chaldean Arch-Eparchy of Teheran , Bishop Habib al Nawfali , head of the Chaldean diocese of Bassora — and Basel Salim Yaldo, Chaldean Auxiliary of Baghdad. The Chaldean delegation was also joined by political officials of the Nineveh province . The Chaldean Patriarch and those accompanying him visited various churches in that part of Mosul including the Holy Spirit Chaldean church, a Chaldean monastery dedicated to Saint George, the Syrian Orthodox church of Saint Ephraim and the Syrian Catholic church of the Annunciation, all sacked and partly demolished during the Jihadist occupation. Among the ruins the Patriarch, the bishops and those accompanying them stopped to pray together (see photo).

During their visit the Chaldean Patriarch and Bishops, had a meeting with Major General Najim Abdullah al Juburi, of the Iraki army who is leading the present Mosul liberation campaign. Speaking with the Patriarch and the Bishops the Major General said he hoped for a swift return home of Christians of Mosul, who fled when the city fell into the hands of the Jihadists and he added “without its Christians the city would lose its original character and identity “. The Major General confirmed that the Iraqi army is committed to protecting towns and villages in the Nineveh plains, and guaranteeing the return of the people, mainly Christians, living there when DAESH arrived . The Patriarch stressed the need to protect the property of evacuated Christians who at this delicate time risk being illegally expropriated by organized groups, often armed, acting uncontrolled in the area.

During their visit, amply documented by the official Chaldean Patriarchate Media and by ISHTAR TV, the Chaldean Patriarch and the Bishops saw for themselves that normality is gradually returning in the areas of Mosul liberated from the control of the Jihadists, although artillery shooting can still be heard coming from urban areas on the left bank of the Tigris, where the battle between the Iraqi army and DAESH forces continues.


From Bishop Michael

The sudden and largely unprecedented actions taken by in particular Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (with some others) to isolate the State of Qatar have caused much speculation and some real concern.

One major effect is on Gulf travel to and from Qatar:  Qatar Airways is prohibited from flying to those nations and their airlines are forbidden from Qatar. The airspace of those nations is not available to Qatar Airways flights. Note that at present that is the extent of the ban:  Qatar Airways can fly to other countries and vice versa but routes will in most cases need to be varied;  and there are nations in the Gulf region that are not party to the action.

Qatari citizens living or working in the countries that have taken the action are also affected but at this stage non-citizen foreign nationals who are residents of Qatar are not in the same position as its citizens.

The presenting and ostensible reasons for the action are not the only factors in play. There will be varying analyses of how and why things reached this moment and of ways forward.

Certainly these are major developments and nothing can be predicted with complete certainty, or anything like it. But Arab nations have historically been able to negotiate disagreements on reflection, with due deliberation, and over the course of time, and our prayer is that intense professional  diplomacy that will go behind and beyond fervent rhetoric will bear fruit.

Other world nations, not least the most powerful, bear a responsibility to aid such diplomacy.

I ask all people of good will to pray thoughtfully and intelligently for the resolution of the situation for the common good and for the peace of the region and the world.

+ Michael Cyprus & the Gulf
The Rt Revd Michael Lewis
Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

7 June 2017

Urdu-language Anglican worship at Ras al Khaimah

St Luke, Ras al Khaimah has a new Urdu-language, Anglican congregation!

Rev’d Daniel Sadiq celebrates the Holy Communion every Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the main church at St Luke’s, Al Jazirah, RAK.  This new Anglican congregation is growing and we are blessed to share in fellowship with the Nepalis, Punjabis, and Pakistanis living in the area.  At the Easter Vigil and the Feast of the Pentecost we had baptisms followed by a vegetable biryani dinner.  St Luke, RAK is grateful to Rev’d Daniel, his family, and the Labour Camp Ministry hosted at St Martin’s Sharjah for supporting the people of Ras al Khaimah.  All over this land, the Spirit is moving.

Anglican Urdu-language Congregation

Baptisms – Feast of the Pentecost

Celebrating with the newly baptised

Celebrating with the newly baptised

Presentation of the Candidates for Baptism – Easter Vigil

Baptised at the Easter Vigil

First Holy Communion – Easter Vigil



Condolences from Archbishop Suheil

Archbishop Suheil Dawani,
President Bishop (Primate) of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
The Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
65 Nablus Road, P.O. Box 19122,
Jerusalem 91191
Office: +972 (0)2 627 1670


A Letter from the Primate of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
Minya-Egypt On Friday May 26, 2017

Twenty-nine Christians from the Coptic Orthodox Church were martyred on their way to pray at St. Samuel Monastery in Minya.

The Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East of the Anglican/Episcopal Church condemns the horrific terrorist attack on the convoy heading to St. Samuel Monastery in Minya where about thirty people, among them little children, were killed and others injured. The convoy which was on its way for peaceful pilgrimage for prayer and devotion was confronted with the evil of terrorism and horrors of death and destruction.

This is yet another cowardly attack on the Christian community in Egypt, the latest was on which took place on Palm Sunday in Tanta and Alexandria, where over one hundred were killed or injured.

We stand in prayer and in solidarity with Pope Tawadros II, the families of those who died and injured, the Coptic Church in general and with all the people of Egypt, at this difficult time, offering them all our condolences.

May the Lord bless Egypt, the place that provided refuge for our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family, and bring refuge and give comfort to all those who are vulnerable and persecuted in Egypt and the whole region of the Middle East.

The Most Reverend Suheil Dawani
Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem
President Bishop (Primate) of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East

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