Communiqué from the House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

The House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East met in Iran on the occasion of the installation of Bishop Azad Marshall and issued the following communiqué.

We the undersigned have met in Tehran. We were very pleased and rejoice in the election and installation of Bishop Azad Marshall as the 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Iran. We welcome him as a full member of the House of Bishops. We pray that the Lord will give him the wisdom and love he needs as he leads his diocese as well as Pakistani Christian Urdu-speaking parishes under his oversight in the Gulf.

We are very encouraged by the new spirit that we have observed in the church in Iran and also the openness and support of the Government of Iran to our Church and also the keenness and desire of the Muslim religious leaders to start a dialogue with us in the Province.

We also welcome the bishop elect of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, the Rt Rev Michael Lewis and we look forward to his installation in the future.

We fully support the Bishop of Jerusalem, the Rt Rev Suheil Dawani for all his efforts to promote peace and reconciliation and inter-faith dialogue throughout his diocese especially in this critical time of conflicts. We also fully support him as he seeks the recognition of our church in Syria.

In view of the many challenges and opportunities of service that have arisen as a result of the changes in our province in the last twenty years, we also recognize the need for developing a common vision for our province and we are looking forward to discuss this in future provincial meetings.

We are committed to pray and support Archbishop Rowan Williams in keeping the unity of the Communion at this difficult time. We recognize the importance of maintaining our faith and the unity of the Church of Christ especially in this region where we face many challenges.

We accept and affirm the recommendation made by the Primates in their last meeting in Dar-es-Salaam and we fully endorse their communiqué.

We greet all the churches in the Anglican Communion in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father.

Rt Rev Suheil Salman Dawani (Jerusalem)
Rt Rev Azad Marshall (Iran)
Most Rev Mouneer Hanna Anis (Egypt) Presiding Bishop

Tehran August 6 2007

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