“Christians gather in their burned church in Swuez and hold signs that say: ‘My terrorist brother, I came today to pray for you.’” This caption for the picture above captures the flavor of what Egypt is going through. This is a frightening time and believers are among the targets.
The rioting in Egypt is front-page news in the wake of the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. The carnage is shown daily as the government tries to gain control of the crowds, and the world watches in horror.
Here’s a portion of an article from the New York Times dated August 20, 2013:
Hundreds of Islamists poured into the street, torching, looting and smashing the village’s two churches and a nearby monastery, lasting out so ferociously that marble altars were left in broken heaps on the floor.
Over the next few days, a wave of similar attacks on the Coptic Christian minority washed over the country as Islamists set upon homes and churches, shops and schools, youth clubs and at least one orphanage, killing at least three people, according to an Egyptian human rights group. As Christians were scapegoated for supporting the military ouster of Mr. Morsi, the authorities stood by and watched: in Nasla, as in other places, the army and the police made no attempt to intervene. Few Christians in Nazla expected an investigation into the attacks.
Here’s a pictorial from the New York Times showing the destruction of churches.
The civil unrest has everyone on edge—and fear and unrest makes for fertile soil for the Gospel. David C Cook has a few partners in Egypt that are distributing 640,000 copies of its evangelistic booklet, The Story of Jesus. The material is shared one on one and tied back to a specific church for further discipleship.
One of our ministry friends said this, “I wish we as a family and ministry team can be agents of reconciliation and fountains of cool water to the millions of thirsty around us—those millions who left Islam because of what they have seen and experienced under Brotherhood rule. As reported in the national media, over this past year at least 5 million, most of whom are youth, moved away from Islam to the vague area of believing there is nothing worth believing in. These are the ones who need to hear the Good News of Christ’s love. Please continue to pray for us as we daily strive to be a witness for Christ.”
This is one prayer request from our Egyptian brother: May the Gospel be proclaimed boldly and may many come to know Jesus as Savior.
This fellow believer and his family live under the cloud of oppression, knowing that at any moment a Muslim fundamentalist might walk in and kill him and his family. He also says there’s the possibility of his sons being kidnapped and held for ransom. In spite of ongoing fear he says,
As a family we are determined to never leave or stop going out every day to do what the Lord has called us to do.
Ask God to strengthen and protect this family. May He use them mightily for His glory.
Our ministry friend and partner ended his letter to us by saying:
The terrorists are out to destroy Egypt but I know that God, the author of history and who is above the power of all nations, will be with all Egyptians, both Christians and Muslims. He is the One who will give us the power and wisdom to stand in the gap to witness for Christ by forgiving those who persecute us and loving our enemies.
While asking you to continue praying for us, for our families, ministries and businesses, I would urge you to support the noble cause of the current battle against terrorism. Please urge every noble person in your surroundings of your family, neighbors and fellow citizens who believes in freedom and civilization to stand alongside Egypt during this critical time.
Please help to make the truth known to the whole world that our fight against terrorism is legitimate and fair. We do not seek any international intervention, whether pro or against, all we’re asking is that the world sees the truth of what’s taking place in the birthing of our new democratic Egypt.
Please faithfully pray for Egypt now and in the coming days!