For information about Presbyterians serving in Egypt, please contact the office for the Middle East and Europe at (502) 569-5324.
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The church and the Arab SPRING
Though a predominantly Muslim country, Egypt is also home to several million Christians, most of whom trace their origins directly back to the Apostolic Era. American Presbyterian mission activities in Egypt began in 1854 and under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church of North America. Hundreds of mission coworkers served in Egypt for about twelve decades as educators, theological teachers, medical teams, rural health workers, agricultural experts, engineers and other specialists. Presbyterian work in Egypt is an undeniable mission success story. The church planted by those early missionaries grew into the largest Protestant church in the Middle East, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt, Synod of the Nile.
Read more about PC(USA) mission history in Egypt.
The American Presbyterian Mission in Egypt: Significant Factors in Its Establishment
Today the PC(USA) joins Egypt’s Christian community in a holistic approach to ministry that includes new church development, education, health ministries, publishing, hunger response, and interfaith work.
Partner Churches and Organizations
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt (a.k.a. Synod of the Nile) is the fruit of Presbyterian mission work in Egypt, which began in 1854. For many years, the Synod of the Nile grew as part of the PC(USA) until Egypt gained independence from British rule in 1952. The Synod of the Nile became autonomous in 1957 and officially independent in 1958.
Today the PC(USA) has a strong partnership with the Synod of the Nile, which has a highly developed program of witness and ministry, including eight presbyteries and more than 400 congregations, and a membership of more than half a million.
Educating and equipping people for ministry in Egypt and around the Arab world, Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC) is one of the only Protestant theological training centers in all of Egypt. ETSC strives to create leaders dedicated to Christ's commission to "Go, therefore, and make disciples." Students at ETSC are challenged with a holistic vision to transform their society for the glory of God. Presbyterian mission personnel founded ETSC in 1863, with the first classes held on a houseboat on the Nile River. Since 1926 the seminary has been located in Cairo. Today, under the supervision of the Synod of the Nile, ETSC not only trains ministers for pastoral positions in the Egyptian Evangelical [Presbyterian] Church, ETSC also welcomes students from a variety of denominations who desire to deepen their skills and knowledge in preparation for a wide range of ministries. Read "150 Years of Witness n Egypt" in the May 2013 issues of Presbyterians Today.
CEOSS is one of Egypt's largest development organizations, providing integrated approaches to poor communities in the areas of economic development, agriculture, education, health care, and the environment. Founded in 1952 by an Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo graduate, Samuel Habib, CEOSS grew from being a literacy program among the rural poor to being an internationally recognized organization dedicated to a holistic approach to sustainable development. Maintaining its Christian identity and focus, CEOSS’s mission is to promote the sanctity, equity, and harmony of life by nurturing moral and spiritual awareness, enhancing a sense of belonging, promoting respect for diversity, addressing conflict, and advancing social justice for individuals and communities.
Christian Publishing House started in the 1950’s in order to supply materials for CEOSS’s programs to eradicate illiteracy. Over the years, CEOSS developed Christian Publishing House into one of the largest publishing houses in the entire Middle East.
The Bible Society of Egypt (BSE) is the largest Arabic Bible publishing operation in the world. A trans-denominational organization, the BSE is considered the Bible publisher for all the churches (Coptic, Protestant, and Catholic) in Egypt. The BSE aims to make the Bible, “available to all, understandable to all, and affordable to all” and freely distributes Bibles to refugees, the disabled, and prisoners and their families.
In 1896 two woman doctors—Dr. Anna Watson and Dr. Caroline Lawrence—arrived in Egypt and started a clinic for women and children. The clinic was a forerunner for the American Mission Hospital in Tanta which has been “serving others for the glory of God” for over 100 years. Indiscriminately serving all those who need medical care, the American Mission Hospital provides Christian medical services to the people in one of the most heavily populated areas of Egypt—the central Nile delta.
Egyptian and American youth worked together to build the first structures of Beit El Salaam (“House of Peace”) in 1954. Located west of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, this beautiful 9-acre camp and conference center hosts over 25,000 people a year. Operated by the Synod of the Nile, Beit El Salaam’s explicit goals are to: 1) proclaim the message of Christ to young people and families, 2) pay particular attention to young people by providing spiritual, cultural, social, and physical (sports) programs, 3) train church leaders, and 4) provide advice and care to families and young people.
Egypt Mission Network
For information contact Amgad Beblawi.
The Egypt Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.
How you can help
Learn more about Egypt
Visit the BBC country profile.
Visit National Geographic’s Egypt Guide.
Read about Christians in the Middle East(from the BBC, 2005).
See the 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, pp. 300-301