CHRISTIAN CHURCHES UNDER ATTACK IN EGYPT
An overview of recent events from a biblical perspective
Coptic Christians pray at a church in Cairo (Beliefnet.org)
EGYPT MY PEOPLE
Scriptural references regarding Egypt can seem a bit contradictory as most refer to Egypt in negative terms, alluding to bondage and idolatry, while others foretell a national revival and times of restoration. Egypt is also mentioned more times in scripture than any other nation, second only to Israel who also was warned of impending judgment while promised national restoration.
In fact, in Isaiah 19 God refers to Egypt as “My people” and Israel “My inheritance.” Therefore, we need to consider current events in Egypt in light of these scriptures and be moved to a place of prayer for those whom God called His people.
THE LARGEST DEMONSTRATIONS IN HISTORY
In 2011, when the so called “Arab Spring” began, we followed closely as Egypt’s young people began a peaceful, non-violent protest resulting in the fall of the Mubarak regime. The demonstrators were seeking progress, jobs, and opportunity as found in western countries.
Unfortunately, the opposition was not politically organized and, when it came time for elections, the only party that could step into the void and win the elections was the Muslim Brotherhood. One year later, the people of Egypt realized that President Morsi was a far worse dictator than Mubarak had been. Islamist ideology was guiding the country and the government was going bankrupt with no way to import bread and food. A country of 80 million was about to descend into chaos.
They were able to collect the signatures of an astounding 20 million people calling for the removal of President Morsi and then organized a public demonstration of upwards to 30 million people. The military, led by General Sisi who had been appointed by President Morsi himself, responded to the people’s demands by removing President Morsi from power.
While clueless western leaders, including some U.S. officials, denounced it as a military coup, General Sisi appointed civilian Adly Mansour, a Supreme Constitutional Court Justice, as Interim President and respected economist, Dr. Hazem Beblawi as Prime Minister. He then asked the people to come back onto the streets to show America and the West their support for a military crackdown on the terror and crime that was plaguing Egypt at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and various jihadist factions.
It is estimated that as many as 40 million people, the largest demonstration in history, may have come onto the streets this time to show their support for the military’s actions.
And yet, some US officials are threatening to cut off aid to Egypt if they do not release the Muslim Brotherhood from jail and bring them back into the government. President Obama suspended shipment of four F-16s last month and Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have threatened to cut-off financial aid as well.
THE CRY OF THE PEOPLE
One cannot begin to describe the disappointment and confusion felt by the people of Egypt. Egypt is a key American ally now turning to Russia and China for help when another ally, Israel, desperately needs a stable, pro-American Egypt for her own security.
Moreover, Egypt has already been experiencing revival, so the people’s heartfelt cry for help could be the beginning of a revival so huge it could sweep across the entire Arab world. Egypt needs our prayers at this critical time!
Roughly ten percent of Egyptians are Christian. They are now being used as scape goats and are accused of conspiring with the “Zionists” to bring about the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, their churches are being burned - there are reports that over 20 have been burned this week - and the black flag of Al-Qaeda has victoriously been flown over several of them. The Christians are too afraid to leave their homes in some areas.
Until the US stops pressuring the government, and allows them to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers who are creating lawlessness and chaos in the streets, the Christians will continue to suffer and greatly need our immediate prayers.
The situation in Egypt has exposed the decline in western journalism in general and US media in particular. Due to budget cuts many news outlets no longer have many journalists in the field. Therefore, they rely on one of a handful of news wires. In the case of Egypt, Al-Jazeera became a trusted source due to their 24/7 coverage of the 2011 protests and the fall of Mubarak.
The difference this time around is that the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news channel was covering the fall of a Muslim Brotherhood government. Video footage and reports were skewed in favor of the ousted President and this misinformation was repeated by western outlets as fact on several occasions. However, Al-Jazeera’s coverage was so biased that some 20 journalists have now quit in protest.
The ICEJ is one of the few organizations that has a pulse on what is happening in Egypt and the region, not only politically but also spiritually. Our Isaiah 62 prayer initiative has encouraged prayer for Egypt for over two years now. And while a lot of the media has been silent, even misleading, about these unfolding events, the ICEJ has been covering them in our publications.
The Middle East is very complicated and the Christian world cannot afford to be at the mercy of ill-informed media monopolies when our informed prayers and activism are so desperately needed Your monthly financial support helps us – your Embassy in Jerusalem – be a resource for you.
Thank you for partnering with us in your financial support and please join us in prayer for both Egypt, His people, and Israel, His inheritance.
For Zion’s Sake,
Susan M. Michael
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