Better Together: A Journey towards Peaceful Coexistence

The Anglican Diocese of Egypt is implementing a project titled Better Together: A Journey towards Peaceful Coexistence. The project is a continuation of the Diocese’s previous interventions that sought to build and promote cultural acceptance through music, photography, story- telling, pantomime, and film screening. These activities were part of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt’s response to the challenge of religious radicalisation and violent extremism in Egypt. In essence, therefore, the project’s objectives are, among others, to improve inter-religious relations among youth and neglected communities, increase resilience of youth to radicalisation and violent extremism, and increase knowledge about the commonalities and differences between religious groups in Egypt. Locations where Anglican Diocese of Egypt will implement its activities are Gusour Cultural Centre in Cairo, Old Cairo, and Ezbet El-Nakhl and El-Salam City Community Centres in Cairo. The interventions will demystify negative stereotypes about other religions, enhance cooperation between youths of different faiths, enhance women’s confidence, and promote harmony and peaceful co-existence between followers of different faiths.

The Anglican Diocese of Egypt has the following capability to implement these interventions. Previous interventions include Together for Egypt and Together We Develop Egypt projects. The former project brought together 30 imams and 30 priests to develop relationships and to participate in community development work. They attended seminars, visited sites of religious significance, and participated in training sessions with the goal of involving youth in community development. The latter project was centred around imams and priests. An imam and a priest teamed up and together led a group of ten youths - five Christians and five Muslims – who performed service projects in the local communities. And while Harmony Project fostered tolerance, respect and harmony between followers of different faiths, Planting a Tree of Hope promoted tolerance and acceptance among children by encouraging Christian and Muslim students of different ages to perform joint creative artworks. The experience and lessons from these projects and Anglican Diocese of Egypt’s reach in the Middle Eastern countries gives the diocese a strong base on which it will anchor CRID activities.

As part of project preparations, a team from Faith to Action Network and Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa travelled to Egypt from 22 – 31 July 2018 to orient the Anglican Diocese of Egypt team to the grant requirements and EU rules and principles. Faith to Action Network provided additional technical assistance on the post-mission review, quality and standards of documentation and the contracting process in October and November 2018. Anglican Diocese of Egypt signed the subgrant agreement in November and started implementing the project in December 2018.

Most recent interfaith work in Egypt

  •   Announcement – Call for Proposals Faith to Action Network, Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace and All African Conference of Churches call upon their member organisations to submit proposals for funding. When faith organisations join hands, they can exert powerful influence on leaders and communities

  • Most religions provide people with values such as empathy, love for strangers, forgiveness, offering moral warrants and normative symbols for understanding and respect for cultural and religious diversity. For example, Christians and Muslims share concepts such as peace/salam, forgiveness/afu, compassion/rahmah and human beings in the eyes of God/fitrah. Yet, according to Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures