Back in 2015 an article of mine on All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Cairo was published in Anglican and Episcopal History (Vol 84:1). I thought that with the rising interest of Christianity in the Middle East I should share it here.
The article begins with the note that in 1839 the Egyptian leader Muhammad Ali made a gift of land to the local Anglicans for the construction of a church. Also, the beginning of Anglican mission there was through the Church Mission Society (CMS) and the London Jews Society (today known as the Church’s Ministry among Jewish People) as far back as the early 1800s.
I was running errands in the large Arab city where I was studying Arabic, when I ran into a friend of mine. We had had several spiritual conversations by that time. So there on the sidewalk I asked him if he would like to pray with me. He said he didn’t have time to go to church with me, so I explained that we could pray right there, and he agreed.
Check out the introduction, which explains why I chose a line from Eliot for the title of the book. The whole epigraph is:
There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable-
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.
Al Fadi, from CIRA International, interviews me more on my research on converts from Islam to Christianity. Here is a second installation for his excellent podcast “Let us Reason.”
The first question is about the main challenge faced by ex-Muslim Christians. Guess what? It’s not persecution. If you want to know what it is, listen along. Also, want to hear about what a baptism looks like at an Iranian church? Listen along. Finally, how do congregations of ex-Muslim Christians form new convert identities for their believers? Listen along.
The interview begins with Al Fadi asking me about my own conversion to Christianity, and then about what motivated me to learn about Islam and then research religious conversion from Islam to Christianity. Here the great story about a church of MBBs that was planted accidentally! (At 14 minutes or so.) Near the end he asks about the main factor that attracts some Muslims to the Christian faith.
The podcast was published on December 31st of 2016. You can find the original at iTunes, or just listen to it right here: