Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Tuesday 20 December 2011
Advent Prayer - Egypt
Project(s): 11-910, 11-220, 11-926, 11-1001
Country/Region: Africa, Egypt, Middle East and North Africa
She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. Luke 2:7
|This farming enterprise in Egypt breeds cows, chickens and lambs on reclaimed desert land, and the Christian workers sell their produce in a small market shop|
The turmoil in Egypt during 2011 has caused grievous distress for the country’s Christians. The toppling of former President Mubarak in February seemed to offer some prospect of greater freedoms, but the grim sequence of subsequent events has largely dashed these hopes.
The recent alarming surge in violent attacks on Christian individuals and communities has intensified since the spring revolution. Christians have been killed and injured by Muslim mobs, and their churches have been damaged or destroyed. The military government has done little to protect them, and the security forces have brutally assaulted Christians who were protesting peacefully against the attacks. In one incident on 9 October, at least 25 people, most of them Christians, were killed in violent clashes in Cairo instigated in part by Islamists. Around 100,000 Christians have emigrated since March.
The leading Islamic party in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, has formed an alliance with a radical Salafist party to contest the forthcoming elections. These hard-line groups have grown in strength and influence and are expected to do well at the polls. One of their spokesmen said, “Allah’s words must rule and Islam must be in the hearts of the citizens.”
For years Egyptian Christians have suffered discrimination; most wealthy Christians have left the country and the majority of those who remain live in extreme poverty. They have struggled with crippling restrictions and violence related to the construction and repair of church buildings. Converts from Islam have been acutely vulnerable. This year’s events suggest that the Christians’ plight is unlikely to be relieved in the near future.
Barnabas has funded many projects in Egypt. A recent grant supported a large-scale incomegenerating project that transformed more than 80 acres of desert into green farmland. The new farm is now self-sufficient and provides employment for 80 to 100 Christian workers.
Pray for the Christians of Egypt in the midst of rapid and threatening political change. Ask the Lord to overrule in the elections and drafting of a new constitution, that this process will limit the influence of Islamism and guarantee freedom and equality for all Egyptian citizens. Pray that the authorities will take action to protect Christians from violent attacks and to bring those responsible to justice. Pray too that the Christians will respond to hostility in a Christ-like way, loving and forgiving their enemies in His Name.A sk for the Lord’s special blessing on those living in poverty and on converts from Islam.
Barnabas Fund projects in Egypt include:
- Egypt General Fund (Ref. 11-910)
- Feeding needy families (Ref. 11-220)
- Agricultural training and job creation (Ref. 11-926)
- Solar panels for garbage village (Ref. 11-1001)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Advent 2011” -.