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Trio of new primates as new Anglican leaders appointed in Alexandria, Burundi and Pakistan

Posted on: June 16, 2021 1:09 PM
(Left to right) Bishop Sixbert Macumi, Bishop Azad Marshall and Archbishop Sami Fawzi

A new Archbishop of Alexandria and Moderator of Pakistan have been installed as Burundi looks forward to its new Archbishop in August.

Two new primates have been installed in the Anglican Communion, and another will take up his post in August. Archbishop Sami Fawzi has been installed as the Episcopal / Anglican Archbishop of Alexandria and Primate of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria, succeeding Dr Mouneer Anis. In the united Church of Pakistan, Bishop Azad Marshall has been elected Moderator, to succeed Bishop Humphrey Peters. And in Burundi, Bishop Sixbert Macumi will succeed Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho as Primate in August.

Archbishop Sami Fawzi was installed at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo. Speaking at the service, he said: “the Church will continue to support the poor, the needy, the marginalised, and the people of determination and cares in particular [for] refugees through the Episcopal Care Institution.”

He added that “the vision of the Episcopal Church is the main focus of a strong, real communion relationship with God” and that “this is how a spiritual revival is achieved in our churches”.

He said: “my prayer is at the beginning of a new service that the Lord honours and entrusts to me in the region of Alexandria and the Archdiocese of Egypt to offer everything I can in the different dimensions of service in the Church with my fellow priests, deacons, lay servants and workers in the region and the parish, in spiritual, social, cultural, educational and medical work in an ecumenical spirit of cooperation with all the churches and in the spirit of dialogue and mutual love within our great Egyptian society and all the societies of the region in North Africa and the Horn of Africa.”

During his inauguration speech, he thanked his predecessor, Dr Mouneer Anis, saying: “we all served and lived under his care and supervision for many years after he devoted his entire life to the development and growth of the Episcopal / Anglican Church service in Egypt and North Africa and the Horn of Africa, where his efforts and dedication over 21 years of tireless work . . . saw the adoption of the Diocese of Egypt to become a new region of the Episcopal Church in the world, and his inauguration as the first Archbishop of Alexandria on 21 June 2020”.

The Province of Alexandria came from the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, which was inaugurated in 1976, with Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa as a diocese within it. In January 2020, Anglican Primates approved the decision of the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee to recognise the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa as the new autonomous Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria, serving 10 countries. It is the 41st province of the Anglican Communion.

Last month, during the 16th triennial meeting of its Synod, the united Church of Pakistan unanimously elected Bishop Azad Marshall as Moderator and Primate. Bishops from all eight dioceses and members of the synod council were present. Bishop Marshall, the Bishop of Raiwind, succeeds Bishop Humphrey Peters of Peshawar as Moderator.

Speaking to Pakistan Today after the election, Archbishop Azad said that he was grateful to the council members and his fellow bishops for their trust in him. “I’m humbled by the confidence shown in me by the synod members and I look forward to working closely with them to address the challenges facing the Church of Pakistan and the community at large,” he said.

“The church has a key role in community building and ensuring the welfare and security of its followers. Pakistani Christians are facing extraordinary challenges and it is important that the church leadership engages with the government and other stakeholders to find concrete solutions to these problems.”

He said that during his 12 years of service as the Anglican Bishop of Iran in the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, he had always strived to promote interfaith harmony and regional peace.

“Being a Pakistani Christian, it is also my responsibility to remove the negative perceptions about my country”, he said. “Issues like forced conversion and underage marriages of minority girls, misuse of the blasphemy laws, rising intolerance in our society [and] poverty bring a bad name to Pakistan and affect the efforts being made to project a positive image of the country.

“Therefore, it’s important that the government and other stakeholders work with us to address these crucial issues as a priority so that we are able to allay the concerns in the Christian world emanating from propaganda by Pakistani’s enemies.”

The Anglican Church of Burundi also met last month to elect their new Archbishop. Bishop Sixbert Macumi of the Diocese of Buye will succeed Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho, of the Diocese of Makamba, when he is installed as the Province’s fifth Archbishop on 21 August.

Bishop Sixbert was born in Gakoni in the eastern province of Muyinga. At the age of 22 he felt called to full time service in the Church. Supported by Buye diocese, he studied theology at the Theological Institute of Matana from 1991-1994. During that time, he was ordained as a deacon. After his studies, he returned to Buye diocese and taught at Bishop Barham Theological College. He was ordained as a priest in 1996 and continued to work at Bishop Barham College whilst also pastoring Gatukuza parish and All Saints Cathedral in Buye.

From 1997 he was Diocesan Secretary for Buye diocese. In 2000, he resumed his theological studies at Uganda Christian University. He returned to Buye where he continued to teach at Bishop Barham College. He was also involved in the coordination and development of Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade in Burundi.

Bishop Sixbert became the third Bishop of Buye in 2005. He is also the chaplain to the Mothers’ Union. He and his wife Clotilde Muhimpundu have three daughters.