Violence in Egypt forces Christians to pray in their homes
Pastor George, a church pastor who partners with Open Doors in Egypt, had just returned home from a prayer meeting in the house of a believer shares, “We cannot go to the church. In every street is a mosque, where Muslims can go to, but there are few churches and most people feel unsafe.” As a result of the danger of going to churches, Christians are coming together in houses for praying for their country.” We see that the uproar could lead to a better Egypt and that things could turn out for good, but we do not know yet. The people are afraid for the future, since this is an extremely critical time. But we trust in God, and we hope and pray for a new Egypt, with democracy and freedom for Christians.”
Pastor George adds, “The situation on the streets is difficult. We hear gunshots and people are killed on the streets. We also are having problems with the provision of our food. The infrastructure in the country is under pressure.” According to Pastor George the work of his church in Egypt, in partnership with Open Doors, has come to a standstill. “Our co-workers and other volunteers cannot go to their ministries or work anymore,” says George. “Road blocks, lack of public transportation and curfew are all hindering this. Banks have been already closed for a week and the ATMs are empty. Almost everything in Egypt runs by cash money, and that is finished for almost all Egyptians.”
The current crisis in Egypt is challenging for Christians and they are calling on the church in the West to unite in prayer with them for the future of their country. Dr. Carl Moeller, president/CEO of Open Doors USA says, “The events of recent days show that while the majority of Egyptians support the existence of the Coptic church, many more Muslim Egyptians, while not militant, are religiously opposed to those who convert from Islam to Christianity. Muslim Background Believers continue to face widespread hostility simply for wanting to exercise religious freedom and change their religion from Islam to Christianity.
“It is also causing many to consider the consequences of a potentially more radical Muslim government replacing the current regime. While the situation is still very unclear, the potential for any power vacuum to be filled with extremist political groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood is very real and could have grave consequences,” says Moeller. “This is a time for the entire body of Christ to pray for the church in Egypt and the entire region. It is also a time for all peoples of every religion to come together and work for true freedom, democracy and peace.”
Egypt is ranked No. 19 on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. On New Year’s Day a suicide bomber killed 21 Christians and injured hundreds of others in front of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria. Last month an Open Doors team visited Egypt where a Coptic Christian brother shared this message.
The devil said to Jesus, “I killed 21 of your people” (Referring to the bombing of the Coptic church in Alexandria). Jesus replied, “You did not kill 21. You sent them to Me and you mobilized the church to pray.”
Father we unite today in prayer asking for a peaceful end to the demonstrations with no more casualties; protect your flock and shield them from injury and further bloodshed. Also we ask that You richly provide them with provisions of food and resources so that Your work can continue in Egypt unhindered. We know that some demonstrators want to cause harm to the country and Christians, and have hidden agendas. We pray that their schemes will be thwarted and that their intentions will be exposed. And, if there is a change of power in the government we ask that it ultimately results in complete freedom of religion for Christians and other minorities. Father You are sovereign and in control of all the details. We give thanks in advance for being “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Amen.
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Source: Open Doors