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Diocese of Antsiranana
(Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean)
Building begins in the Matsabory Leidama suburb.
Photo No. : P060226-1
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St. Michael's Church.
Photo No. : P060226-2
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The graves of previous bishops.
Photo No. : P060226-3
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Moslems Donate Land for Anglican Church
 
ANTSIRANANA 060226-1
February 26, 2006

[Diocese of Antsiranana - Indian Ocean] The Anglican Church in Ambilobe town in the Diocese of Antsiranana has an incredible story to proclaim. In the midst of world stories of violence and boycott due to certain drawings in some countries of the North, Moslems have donated a piece of land for the erection of a new church.

“I could not believe my ears when I was told that the Moslems of the Matsabory Leidama suburb of Ambilobe donated a piece of land to the Anglican Church,” said Bishop Roger Chung of Antsiranana. “But God’s ways are not our ways , and His thoughts not our thoughts, says the Book of Isaiah.”

The chairman of the parish, Mr Diogene Mahavavy, explained that the Moslem community was aware of difficulties Anglicans were having in obtaining a plot of land for building a new suburban church. They readily offered to donate the plot.

The peoples of Ambilobe are from the Antakarana tribe, which is predominantly Moslem. However evangelisation of the Ankarana region has resulted in many families having both Moslem and Christian members. So mutual support between Moslems and Christians is very common.

The new church will be the daughter church of St Michael’s, Ambilobe. The two predecessors of Bishop Chung , Bishops Gabriel Josoa and Keith Benzies, are both buried in the grounds of St Michael’s.

Ambilobe, which is the centre of activity in Ankarana, has a special attraction for those who are conquered by its mystery and beauty.

We thank the LORD for the grace of being able to live in harmony with peoples of other faiths and let the light of Christ shine in the midst of all the nations of the world to the greater glory of God.