Interfaith Award for Bishop Mouneer Anis

Archbishop Josiah Oduwu-Fearon presenting the award to Bishop Mouneer

Bishop Mouneer receives The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation from Archbishop Josiah Oduwu-Fearon

Further to the news that Bishop Mouneer Anis, Bishop for Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa is chairing the Anglican Interfaith Commision this week we have also learnt this wee that Bishop Mouneer has received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for his pioneering ecumenical work in the interfaith dialogue in Egypt and across the globe from Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Webly . He was presented with the award by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, on behalf of Justin Welby, during the opening session of the Anglican Interfaith Commission in Cairo.

In his response to the award Bishop Mouneer humbly said

I am greatly honoured that Archbishop Justin would award me with this distinguished recognition. It was a real pleasure to receive it in the context of the first meeting of the Anglican Inter Faith Commission from Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon. I feel I don’t deserve this great honour.

The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution in the areas of reconciliation and interfaith cooperation. Such Reconciliation is the second of Archbishop Justin’s three ministry priority areas. It is named after Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1193 to 1205, who had dialogue with non-Christians at a time of inter-faith conflict.

The award, established in March 2016 by Archbishop Justin, is named after the 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury Hubert Walter, who led negotiations with Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria during the Third Crusade. Its design incorporates a scarab beetle, a motif favoured by Archbishop Walter, which some scholars believe may have denoted the resurrection.

The citation for his award says that Bishop Mouneer

has made a unique contribution and example through his ability to establish deep relationships; this is largely because of his openness, creativity and ambition to move people towards reconciliation. At times, this inevitably makes him a counter cultural voice within his setting.

Particularly of note is his role as a bridge builder between the most important official international Christian-Muslim dialogue that the Anglican Church has with al-Azhar al-Sharif and is a most highly trustworthy representative for Archbishop Justin to the Grand Imam himself.

Moreover, Bishop Mouneer is incredibly generous with his time: cultivating relationships with those from different faiths and background whilst running the Cathedral in Cairo, all within a context in which Christians are a vulnerable minority. He also maintains good contact across different institutions, with charitable and political leaders and is able to bring together all of these networks for the common good.

His contribution, overall, to reconciliation is particularly significant and one which is worthy of praise and celebration.


Posted 23rd February 2018