An Egyptian in China: Ahmed Fahmy and the Making of “World Christianities”

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History of Christianity
History of Religion
Islamic Studies
Islamic World and Near East History
Missions and World Christianity
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Near Eastern Languages and Societies
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Sharkey, Heather J

Ahmed Fahmy, who was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1861 and died in Golders Green, London, in 1933, was the most celebrated convert from Islam to Christianity in the history of the American Presbyterian mission in Egypt. American Presbyterians had started work in Egypt in 1854 and soon developed the largest Protestant mission in the country. They opened schools, hospitals, and orphanages; sponsored the development of Arabic Christian publishing and Bible distribution; and with local Egyptians organized evangelical work in towns and villages from Alexandria to Aswan. In an age when Anglo-American Protestant missions were expanding across the globe, they conceived of their mission as a universal one and sought to draw Copts and Muslims alike toward their reformed (that is, Protestant) creed. In the long run, American efforts led to the creation of an Egyptian Evangelical church (Kanisa injiliyya misriyya) even while stimulating a kind of “counter-reformation” within Coptic Orthodoxy along with new forms of social outreach among Muslim activists and nationalists.

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