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Orient and Occident: Winter Edition

Orient and Occident

From my latest article on Orient and Occident:

‘The church in Egypt is better resourced to participate in society than in other countries of the Arab world, whereas in Palestine/Israel it constitutes only 1% of the population,’ says Stephen Sizer, a renowned critic of Christian Zionism, who presented a series of lectures in Cairo, including at the Anglican Cathedral.

Sizer is an Anglican minister from the UK and directs most of his energy combating US evangelical Christians who find Biblical warrant for supporting the Zionist policies of Israel. Instead, Biblical theology should direct the Christian to support the oppressed and stand for justice, on both sides of the separation wall.

Yet local expressions of theology have failed Palestinian Christians as well. In an interview with Orient and Occident Sizer suspects a similar deficiency among many Egyptian Copts.

‘Theology that says, “Stay out of politics and worship quietly; don’t get in the way or cause problems” will lead only to a victim mentality,’ maintains Sizer. ‘We have to get out of our ghetto and show the rule of law applies to everyone.’

Please click here to continue reading the article on Orient and Occident.

Orient and Occident is the bilingual online magazine of the Egyptian Anglican Church, of which I am privileged to be the editor. We seek to highlight voices who are able to articulate how the values of faith – Christian in particular, shared widely with Islam – can be lived practically in society, and in particular the Arab world. We welcome contributions from Christians and Muslims alike.

Please click here to view the Winter edition homepage in English, and here in Arabic. This season’s edition also features the following articles:

While on this blog Julie and I always appreciate your sharing of our thoughts about Egypt, we would like to invite you particularly to share any of these articles you find enjoyable or challenging. We hope Orient and Occident will be a service to the Arab world – both by inspiring its readers inside and by sharing a vision with the world outside. Thanks for any small steps you can take to help it be better known.

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Orient and Occident Magazine

Orient and Occident Magazine is a publication of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. I have been working with the church on the project for a little under a year, and am proud to announce the first issue is now complete and online.

O&O is scheduled to be an online, quarterly, bilingual magazine. Its goal is to serve primarily Arab Christians of the region in providing articles that consider the intersection of the values of faith and the issues of society.

Many Christians have a strong sense of spirituality; many others are active in political life or defense of their community. Orient and Occident seeks to bring these worlds together – what practical difference should Christian values make for the good of all?

Love, peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace, justice. By no means are these Christian values alone. Orient and Occident also welcomes Muslim and non-religious writers to contribute – and seeks their readership – so that these values might increasingly find expression in the public lives of the region’s people.

Of course, there will be disagreement over how these values should be expressed. Orient and Occident will strive to welcome all opinions. It aims to take no editorial stand, except to insist on a perspective shaped by the values of faith.

The articles of the summer edition include:

  • It All Began Here (the Anglican Church and the Middle East)
  • Tunisian Christians and the Arab Spring (how they contributed, that they exist)
  • My Story with the Thug (necessary introspection of a societal crisis)
  • Political Choices and the Confusion of Believers (facing a presidential vote)
  • Religious Pluralism in Egypt in the Near Future (on Protestantism and Islamism)
  • The Truth No One Talks About (sectarian tension and its roots)
  • Two Cities (Augustine’s vision and Egyptian reality)
  • Caravan Reflections (contemplating a recent art exhibition)
  • Poisons We Love (on the dangers of sugar)
  • The Killer of Dreams (short story on parental expectations)
  • Two Faced (on political and religious hypocrisy)

In addition to articles, Orient and Occident features Christian bloggers from the Arab world. As these post new material to their site, O&O will automatically feature it in chronological order. Currently there are 17 bloggers featured, but we hope this number will grow as our magazine becomes better known.

Please click here to visit Orient and Occident, the English version. We hope you will enjoy it; please share widely to help this idea become better known.