During a recent visit to Egypt, Bishop Clive Handford, the President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and Middle East and the Rt Revd Mouneer Anis, Bishop in Egypt, visited the Grand Imam, Dr Tantawy. They had a very constructive discussion about the situation in the Middle East and stressed the importance of rebuilding Iraq as soon as possible through combined efforts with the UN involvement as well as the Arab countries. The people of Iraq should have a central role in this process of rebuilding Iraq. Bishop Clive stressed the point that this war was not a religious war and it is not a conflict between Islam and Christianity but it was a political one.
Bishop Clive also mentioned that there have been Christians in Iraq since the first centuries of the life of the Church. They recently suffered from the previous regime and the sanctions. Now they are looking forward to playing a role in rebuilding their country.
St George's Episcopal Church in Baghdad was built in 1930. It suffered damage in the Gulf war in 1991 and was repaired but it was damaged again during this war. It was a house of worship for people from different nationalities and we hope that it will resume this role in the near future.
The Palestinian / Israeli conflict should not be forgotten and it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to put an end to this tragic situation, bearing in mind that it is the origin of the Middle Eastern conflicts.
The Rt Revd Mouneer Anis
Bishop in Egypt