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EGYPT: Anglicans Embrace Alpha

EGYPTIAN ANGLICANS EMBRACE ALPHA

Special Report

By David W. Virtue

ALEXANDRIA--The first ALPHA conference to be held on Arab soil took place in March with more than 300 church leaders participating from numerous countries across the region, according to the May-July Alpha News, the official news organ of Alpha.

The occasion was hosted by the Anglican Bishop of Egypt and North Africa, Dr. Mouneer Anis, who told the conference, "This Alpha course is a tool in the hand of the Holy Spirit to transform lives - many, many lives."

"The Alpha course can reach nominal Christians who don't go to any church in Egypt. Try it, and it will bear fruit."

The Anglican bishop warned church leaders that welcoming newcomers may lead to tough choices for existing congregations - and he recommended that they tell their church council.

"When you start Alpha, youth will come to your church. They will come with their problems. They will come with clapping and noise."

The bishop said it was worth it. "If you have new people, we have to open our arms to them. We need to leave space for them in our worship."

A Christian youth leader in Alexandria, Mikhail Farid Wahby said that he was greatly encouraged by Bishop Mouneer three years ago to implement Alpha. "I can say that every time we ran an Alpha course, it's a real blessing. Don't put obstacles in your way before you start - just start and you will learn from that point."

A team from Holy Trinity, Brompton, the home of Alpha, included Nicky Gumbel and assistant pastor Archie Coates.

END

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