The Evangelical Church of Egypt (Synod of the Nile) (also called the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Egypt, Egyptian: الكنيسة الإنجيلية المشيخية El-Kenisa El-Engileyya El-Mashyykhia) is a Protestant church that started as a mission of the United Presbyterian Church of North America among Coptic Egyptians in the late nineteenth century. The Evangelical Church of Egypt became autonomous in 1957 and officially independent in 1958. It has eight presbyteries, 314 congregations, and about 250,000 members.[1][2]

Emile Zaki is a pastor and also the general secretary of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt, also known as the Synod of the Nile. The Synod of the Nile has about 250 congregations worldwide, including a few worshiping groups without their own building. It helps with running hospitals, clinics, social service and employment agencies, retreat centers, day schools, and its own seminary. The Evangelical Presbyterian Church founded the nation's first primary school for girls.[3]

To train pastors the denomination maintains the Evangelical Presbyterian Seminary in Cairo. It is the oldest Protestant Seminary in the country.[4]

These Evangelical Christians operate in a context far different from North America. Between 88 and 90 percent of Egyptians are Muslim. Of the 10-12% who are Christian, over 90-92 percent are Coptic Orthodox. The 8-10 percent of non-Orthodox Christians include Catholics and several Protestant groups. However, a steady trickle of Orthodox and Catholic Copts are joining the Evangelicals because they are seen as (among other things) less laden with heavy ritual, more generous with welfare and more flexible over marriage and divorce.[5]

The church is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches,[6] Middle East Council of Churches, and the Egypt Council of Churches, which formed in February, 2013.[7] A partner church is the Church of Scotland.[8]

Among others, the Gustav-Adolf-Werk (GAW) as the Protestant Church in Germany Diaspora agency actively supports persecuted Protestant Christians in Egypt with aid projects.[9]

The church currently claims to own property held by the Anglican Diocese of Egypt.[10]

Evangelical Christians belonging to this group form a tight-knit community where everybody knows everybody and share common rituals like serving as "Beit Feel" in Beit El-Salam in Agami and, more recently, going to Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church's hip camps known as Wadi Sports Camps. The early evangelicals played a role in Egypt's education and this was documented in Paul Sedra's book: From Mission to Modernity. The biggest evangelical church in Egypt is Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church (KDEC). The most famous Evangelical choir in Egypt is "The Better Life Team." There are lesser known teams that include: The Praise Team, among others. Fun fact: Rafiq Habib, the son of the former head of the Synod, Samuel Habib, was the Vice President of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.[11]

The Synod owns 4 schools in Egypt: Ramses College, New Ramses College, British Ramses College and Al Salam school in Assiut (formerly known as Presley Memorial Institute, founded by former American Evangelical missionaries). The sons and daughters of the Egyptian Evangelical community tend to attend these schools.

Evangelicals of the Arab world (mainly Egypt and Lebanon) air most of their content on Sat-7.

Famous Egyptian Evangelicals

See also

References

  1. ^ "Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt Synod of the Nile — World Council of Churches". January 1963. Archived from the original on 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  2. ^ "دليل الكنائس". مجلس الإعلام والنشر سنودس النيل الإنجيلي جمهورية مصر العربية (in Arabic). 2020-09-05. Archived from the original on 2021-10-28. Retrieved 2021-10-26.
  3. ^ "Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt Synod of the Nile — World Council of Churches". January 1963. Archived from the original on 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  4. ^ "Egypt | About Our Work". Archived from the original on 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  5. ^ "Copts and marriage: You can't just marry anyone: A secular step in a conservative country", dated Jun 3rd 2010, Cairo, from The Economist print edition.
  6. ^ WCRC churches AFRICA Archived August 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2013/3/18/ACNS5353 Archived 2013-04-09 at the Wayback Machine[bare URL]
  8. ^ "Address data base of Reformed churches and institutions". Archived from the original on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  9. ^ Lage- und Tätigkeitsbericht des Gustav-Adolf-Werkes für das Jahr 2013/14 Diasporawerk der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (GAW yearly report, in German)
  10. ^ "Anglican Church in Egypt \'Under Heavy Attack\' - by Other Christians". 27 October 2016. Archived from the original on 9 November 2023. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Freedom and Justice Party". September 22, 2011. Archived from the original on November 9, 2023. Retrieved October 21, 2022.