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The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is currently happening in Cape Town (16-25 Oct 2010). Our man on the spot, Iwan Russell Jones, is blogging for us from inside the congress with news and comment. Check back here each day for new posts.

Lausanne is held in collaboration with the World Evangelical Alliance. The 2010 congress has brought together some 4,000 leaders from 198 countries for dialogue and action on the critical issues of today, including world faiths, poverty, HIV/AIDS and persecution.

Lausanne is also running a virtual congress with video clips and other resources. There's also a Twitter feed and Facebook page.

Photo of worship band at Lausanne
Singing Arab gospel

Posted by Iwan Russell Jones on 20 October 2010, 7:41

TUESDAY 19 OCTOBER – The band that leads the morning worship is truly international and regularly leads songs in many different languages. They’re an excellent bunch of singers and musicians. But to be honest, most of the music, in whatever language, sounds very similar to what you might hear in any church in the UK on a Sunday morning. Has the whole Christian world, north south, east and west, gone after Kendrick and Townend? 

But today’s worship really comes to life when a singer wielding a piano accordion steps up to the microphone. This is music with the very distinctive sounds and rhythms of the Middle East, and it brings the huge congregation to its feet to join in with the catchy chorus – Halleluia magdan, ‘Glory hallelujah’. The singer is Nasef Sobhy from Egypt (see inset picture above), and he has a daily television show that’s beamed to countries right across the Arab world.

I turn round to check out three or four people on a table just behind me who know all the words and are singing along with great gusto. And suddenly it’s very obvious to me that there are many other Christians here in this hall who come from that same region and love Nasef and his brand of Arab gospel. They seem to be bursting with happiness and pride that their language and culture are being recognised and used in the praise of God at the conference. It’s a brilliant moment.


Well, that’s worth seeing. Now I need to find a link to a video on him.

Daughter Amazon, Wed 20 Oct, 16:22

Infectious sound. (Being Cajun I love accordions anyway.) I’m going to look for Nasef Sobhy’s work among my bellydance CDs… I bet he’s already there.

Janine, Wed 20 Oct, 12:14

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photo of iwan russell jones
Iwan Russell-Jones is a TV producer based in Cardiff.
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