Prison Ministry - Egypt

The prison ministry team of the Episcopal Church visits the Qanater prison, which is located outside Cairo, weekly.

The ministry has a heart to fulfil some of the inmates’ physical –as much as possible- demands besides the moral and spiritual needs as well; becoming more like a family to them, since their own families are not present to alleviate the severity of their sufferings. Unfortunately, the prison administration can’t afford all the needs of the prisoners and our help is a necessity for the prisoners to tolerate the rough conditions of the prison.

Activities:

  • Weekly visits.

  • Promoting the beadwork of the prisoners that they produce while still in prison.

  • Purchasing the foreign prisoners’ tickets.

  • Buying some personal materials for the prisoners.

  • Offering a weekly supply of; Rice, Sugar, Pasta, Oil, Tea, Nescafe, Honey, Sterilizer, Soap, Napkins.

  • Providing medicine.

Our Vision:

Our vision is to offer love, hope and Unconditional love without any condemnation or judgment to the prisoners; nor any discrimination based on gender, nationality and religion; praying that through our deeds and words, they would encounter with God’s love and forgiveness.

                                                                  Download the Latest Prison Ministry Newsletter

Good News:

  • John, Indian, finished his sentence and has arrived to his family after spending 25 years in prison. He was able to celebrate his son’s weeding. We are thrilled to know that he appreciates everyone who visited, encouraged and helped him during his time in prison.

  • Xui Gui An, from china, was set free after spending 18 years in prison and he arrived home safely, back with his family.

  • Five prisoners were set free and got departed to South Sudan after their tickets were purchased.

  • More than 20 prisoners were set free from both men and women, who came to Egypt by illegal immigration. They all got departed to their countries after spending a period of time in prison (between couple of months to two years).

Challenges and Plans:

  • Lack of volunteers especially who know different languages like Amharic and Korean.  

  • Financial challenges especially after the economic inflation. Lack of donations for purchasing the plane tickets for prisoners. Lack of donations to cover the prisoners’ personal items and electric equipment e.g. fans.

  • Lead a bible study for the prisoners (Gospel of Mark).

  • Visit more frequently.

  • Obtain permission to serve Holy Communion once per month.

Please Pray for :

  • The prisoners, especially; the sick, with chronic diseases like diabetes and blood pressure, and those who can’t go back to their countries due to war, etc. and can’t stay in Egypt as well, due to their illegal situation. They need lots of prayers to be able to travel to any other country.

  • In particular pray for Younis who has lost all hope and tried to commit suicide. 

  • The ministry team that God may give us wisdom and power to serve all prisoners with love and gentleness; and to be able to understand all their different cultures.

  • The administration of the prison itself.


How you can help

The Prison Ministry team values your support. You can support the prisoners through praying for them. We also welcome volunteers to join our weekly visits.

Give to the needs of the Prison Ministry. Donors enable us to provide food, clothing, and other necessities for the prisoners on a weekly basis, to hold celebrations for the prisoners at Christmas and Easter, and to purchase air tickets for those otherwise unable to get home after their release.

At this time Donations are urgently needed. The report shows a deficit in the budget with 26,281 Egyptian pounds due to the economic inflation which has caused all prices to be doubled or tripled. The amount of money available for the end of this year is 39,274 Egyptian pounds, which is not enough to cover all the expenses planned for the year including Christmas celebrations and gifts, tickets for the released prisoners in the near future and visiting expenses like the microbus rental, 390 L.E. weekly, food supply and medications.

You can give direct to the Diocese of Egypt or through JMECA.

  • Donate £60 (£5/month) to Support a Prisoner for a Year

  • Donate £360 (£30/month) - to Buy an Airline Ticket to help a prisoner who has finished their sentence to return home.

 or download a Standing Order Form here

 

 

 


Latest Prayer Requests

  • Pray for John from India who despite completing his 25 year sentence has been informed he must stay another 5 years until he is 60yrs old. He will also need to raise 100,000 LE (£49) to pay a fine.


Visitor Reflections: Learning to Wait

The last two times I visited El Kanater prison with the Cathedral Prison Ministry were physical challenging. Recently, as we waited 45 minutes just to get in the front gate, the Egyptian women who were waiting to visit their husbands or sons were tense and anxious to get in the gate, crowding and pushing, and in the heat, tempers flared. 

Another Tuesday in August was over 40 degrees in the shade. After a thorough body search, we sat in the waiting room for four hours, and were only allowed to stay with the women inmates for half an hour. As we waited, a German friend reminded me that

We may have to wait a few hours, but some of the inmates are waiting for years.

This put my "suffering" into perspective, and reminded me why we visit the prison to serve and encourage these inmates.

--Rosie Fyfe, P​artnership Office of the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa


One of the women awaiting execution within the women's prison told Bishop Mouneer;

We were imprisoned by Satan when we were living outside the prison, but now Jesus set us free here in prison.


Prison Ministry in Alexandria

In 2014 The Anglican Church started a new prison ministry in Alexandria, on the north coast of Egypt. This new ministry is co-ordinated by Mrs. Nabila Mansour, a member of the St Mark’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Alexandria.

There are eight regular volunteers from different denominations. There are also four students from the Alexandria School of Theology joining the prison ministry for the practical component of their training.

The team visit Borg el Arab Prison and Hadra Prison. Borg el Arab is lo-cated 45 kilometres south-west of Alexandria. It is a men only prison, and there are 8 foreigners and 250 Egyptians.
The conditions in which the men live are very poor. The cells are under-ground and have only small windows. Many men share the same rooms and there are no beds, only mattresses on the floor. Skin diseases are common. As most of the Egyptian men are from other areas of Egypt, they receive few visitors and no-one else provides for them except this ministry.

Ministry Activities

  • Visiting the prisoners. We listen to them and encourage them, pray with them, sing worship songs and read the Bible together.

  • Sending letters to the prisoners

  •  Supplying material needs (medicine, food, clothes, blankets, toilet-ries), spiritual (spiritual books and Bibles) and legal support

  • Continue to follow up after prisoners after released. For example assisting with finding jobs and spiritual guidance.

  • Support prisoners’ families through helping them with material and spiritual needs (school fees and supplies for children, food and clothing, gifts at Easter and Christmas