World News

New Primates for Alexandria, Burundi and Pakistan

Two new primates have been installed in the Anglican Communion, and another will take up his post in August, the Anglican Communion News Service reports.

Archbishop Sami Fawzi has been installed as the Episcopal / Anglican Archbishop of Alexandria and Primate of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria.

Bishop Azad Marshall has been elected Moderator of the united Church of Pakistan and in Burundi, Bishop Sixbert Macumi will succeed Archbishop Martin Blaise Nyaboho as Primate in August.

Speaking after his installation in Cairo, Archbishop Fawzi said the Church would continue to support the poor, the needy and the marginalised, particularly refugees.

“The vision of the Episcopal Church is the main focus of a strong, real communion relationship with God,” the ACNS quoted him as saying. “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.”

Left to right, Bishop Sixbert Macumi, Bishop Azad Marshall and Archbishop Sami Fawzi

He thanked his predecessor, Dr Mouneer Anis. “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.

In Pakistan, Archbishop Azad told local media that the church had a key role in community building.

“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.