Egypt (MNN) — When Egypt’s government abruptly stepped down Feb. 24, the action made small ripples in a nation now accustomed to major political upheaval. Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is running for presidential office and peacefully resigned from military power.
A Baptist worker serving in the Cairo area, Courtney Dobson, said that Christians hope they might trade the revolutionary change promised by the Arab Spring in 2011 for the peaceful lives they lived before.
The Arab Spring revolution began in 2011 and gave Christians hope that change would bring freedom in the sharing of the gospel. However, 2012 president Mohamed Morsi tightened his grip on freedom of expression and power. Protests and bloodshed forced Morsi out of his position.
More than 75 churches across the country were attacked, looted, burned, and destroyed during the week that Morsi was deposed.
Without God, “It is still dark” in Egypt, said Mounir Malaty, pastor of a Baptist Church in Egypt and a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Pray for us as a church that we will be like salt in the community and try to wake people up to come to Christ,” Malaty said. “This is the time for our sister churches outside of Egypt to pray for us. This is our time. This is our chance.”
Pastors across the country ask for urgent prayer for peace as things slowly settle down. Dobson said the fragile calm is reminiscent of the old days for Christians. Many hope the quiet step-down of Sisi is an indicator that peace and stability are on the horizon.
“People seem to be resigned to resuming their old patterns of life and maybe even hopeful to return to a more predictable response from those who oppose them,” she said.
But no matter what, Dobson said she has seen an uptick in the number of Christians determined to share their faith regardless of the circumstances.
“Christians in the West can pray that believers here would be willing to take risks to share their faith,” she said. “Pray that the Christian community here will be marked by love, especially when they face hostility. Pray that Egypt would become a place where people are free to choose their own beliefs without facing persecution for doing so.”