History

inauguration plaque

For over 100 years, St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo has been a place where people living in the Cairo area from around the world have gathered together to worship God. The inaugural services of St. Andrew’s Church in Cairo were held on February 5, 1899, in a classroom offered for this purpose on what is now known as Emad el Din Street. The dedication service in the present sanctuary of St. Andrew’s Church was held on January 3, 1909. Worship at St. Andrew’s continued during both World Wars, serving the English-speaking military personnel stationed in Cairo. Aside from an English speaking congregation, for the past 26 years St. Andrew’s has been “home” to five refugee led congregations representing five ecumenical denominations. These services are led in the native language of each community and also offer theological educational opportunities.

For the past 40 years, St. Andrew’s has also been home to StARS (or also known as St. Andrew’s Refugee Services). StARS is a vibrant, thriving ministry, our mission is to be a place “for refugees by refugees.” StARS humble beginnings originated with the arrival of individuals who had been forcibly displaced to Egypt from countries in the Horn of Africa in 1976. At that time, many of the people arriving in Egypt were here to study in Cairo under the auspices of the UNHCR. However outside of school they were lacking a place to gather in community. On October 11, 1979, the Thursday evening “Refugee Center” was inaugurated in St. Andrew’s Guild Hall. In its early days, as many as 115 people came for games, conversation, and tea. In the early years there was also a rudimentary effort in English-language instruction. This ministry has grown and changed through the years and today serves people from Ethiopia, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, and Syria. Find more information by clicking the link to StARS!

St. Andrew’s United Church of Cairo and St. Andrew’s Refugee Services have historically and are currently under the supervision of the Protestant Churches of Egypt currently led by Dr. Andreas Zaki. We are grateful for their support.