Prison Ministry - Egypt

For more than fifteen years, members of the Diocese of Egypt have travelled once a week to visit prisoners at El Kanater Prison on the outskirts of Cairo.

The prison authorities do not provide for all of the needs of the prisoners. Most of the inmates have their needs taken care of by their families. Therefore, the church ministry focuses on foreigners, and the church becomes their family.

The prisoners are in prison for a variety of charges. In some of the cases, they are imprisoned as they do not have a visa.

The Prison Ministry team helps to meet material needs through providing basic food supplies, medicine, clothes and blankets. They also provide friendship and a listening ear, helping to relieve the hopelessness that weighs heavily upon the shoulders of imprisoned expatriates.

                                                                  Download the Latest Prison Ministry Newsletter

News in brief:

  • 25 Inmates released between January and July 2016 - Please pray for them as many have been returned to the counties from which they fled.

  • More than 160 bags of supplies have been provided

  • Donation are required to fund tickets for a couple who were due for release in August.

Activities of our Prison Ministry include:

  • Engaging and training new volunteers in the prison ministry.

  • Increasing community understanding of the social teachings of the Church’s as we reach out to the prisoners with God’s Grace and Love.

  • Conducting weekly visits to the inmates in the Kanater Prison.

  • Providing direct pastoral and counseling support to the inmates.

  • Sharing the Gospel and give empathetic listening ear that embodies love, care and a non-judgmental attitude.

  • Providing inmates during our weekly visits with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, Bibles, and meaningful work adequate to their conditions.

  • Providing support and maintain follow up for the released inmates.

  • Promoting a wide variety of leather, metal, and wood craft items,  made by inmates of the Kanater Prison.

  • Most of the works created by the inmates are displayed at our Wady Crafts Shop in All Saints Church.

  • Supporting inmates with mental or physical health problems to help them access the services they need, in prison and after release.

  • Communicating inmates’ needs in the prison and raise it to official authorities whenever we can.

  • Providing support and maintain follow up for the released inmates.

  • Helping spread the Good News of God’s love and promise of salvation

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.

There are many Eritrean refugees at El Kanater Prison. Many are victims of human trafficking. They are either kidnapped, or promised a better life and pay a high fee to leave Eritrea. They arrive in the Sinai region of Egypt, one of the most notorious routes for human trafficking in the world and well-documented abuse. Many are tortured, raped, and cases of organ harvesting have been reported. There is also extortion, where desperate families will pay large ransoms for the freedom of their loved ones.

Often, the traffickers will call the Egyptian authorities and the prisoners are rounded up and brought to Egyptian prisoners. Our Prison Ministry has in the past supplied basic needs to these prisoners.  

3 out of the 5 Eritrean men were able to return to their families in September at a cost of 10,800LE (approx £967.00 / $1,509.00). Funds are needed for the the remaining two.

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