Archbishop Urges Christian Leaders to Be Ready for Martyrdom amid Worldwide Persecution and Terrorism

Pakistani Christians shout out their faith in protest against the persecution of their fellow believers.Reuters

Be "ready to sacrifice [your] lives for the sake of Christ."

A senior Anglican archbishop from the Global South made this call to leaders of the Church in the face of persecution, restrictions, terrorism, and violence carried out in the name of religion, World Watch Monitor reported.

Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Cairo spoke before archbishops and bishops from some of the countries where Christians are being subjected to persecution. These are Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Southern Africa, West Africa, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia.

More than 100 delegates from various countries attended the Oct. 3-8 conference held in Cairo, Egypt. They discussed critical challenges facing them, including poverty, the refugee crisis and religious violence.

In his address, Archbishop Anis said the Church in the Global South faces many challenges and weaknesses even as it grapples with the prevalence of disease and "polygamy, tribalism, corruption, and harsh treatment of women."

He likewise cited the "false teaching" of the prosperity gospel, and the teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons as matters that the Church needs to address.

Archbishop Anis also warned of an "ideological slavery" resulting from "some Western churches and organisations us[ing] their wealth and influence to push their own agendas in the Global South."

He called on Church leaders to "resist all kinds of slavery, whether financial or ideological," or else face "cultural defeat and captivity."

However, Archbishop Anis said, "We cannot continue to focus on the faults of others while neglecting the needs of our own people."

The delegates also discussed the importance of ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.

On the second day of the conference, the bishops met with Egyptian President Fatah Al-Sisi, who told them that Egypt was keen to guarantee freedom of belief and worship for all its citizens. This was in response to complaints raised by Egypt's Coptic Christians that they are being subjected to more attacks this year.

The Anglican Communion's Global South is the world's third largest Christian denomination, after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. It is home to 72 percent of the worldwide Anglican population, or about 62 million people, according to World Watch Monitor.