Egypt unravels amid further chaos

By August 16, 2013

Egypt (MNN) — Amid an ever-changing and fluctuating level of chaos, Egyptian Christians are praying for peace.

Message on a southern Egyptian home reads "Love your enemies. We will pray fervently." (Image, caption courtesy SAT-7)

Message on a southern Egyptian home reads “Love your enemies. We will pray fervently.” (Image, caption courtesy SAT-7)

Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra shares this from an Egyptian believer, whose name is withheld for security purposes: “He said, ‘These are the hardest days we’ve ever witnessed. A peaceful Egypt is now soaked in violence’.”

The Christian leader sent Dykstra an update following Wednesday’s uprising, now regarded as the bloodiest day in Egypt since the 2011 revolt against then-President Hosni Mubarak.

“It was a day of many tears, pain and agony,” the believer says. “My heart and the hearts of millions of Christian and Muslim Egyptians are bleeding as we see Egypt turning into a strange country we’ve never [known] before.

“The loss of the church buildings is great, but not to be compared with the loss of the many souls, the pains of the wounds, and the fear and anxiety that have filled the hearts of all.”

After issuing warnings, national security forces took action against protestors camped out in the streets of Cairo. Following the destruction of two large pro-Morsi camps, protestors immediately lashed out, directing most of their anger at one group.

“Christians are being turned into the scapegoat,” Dykstra says. “Many of the Muslim Brotherhood protestors are blaming Christians for the ouster of Morsi.”

Their rage continues to claim lives. While statistics vary widely and continue to fluctuate, the most recent figures from Egypt’s Ministry of Health list over 500 deaths and more than 3,500 injured.

In addition, many believers are losing their homes and livelihoods. Dozens of churches and homes have been destroyed, and three Bible Society stores were reportedly burned to the ground.

“Our task is to inform people that ‘revenge’ never accomplishes anything good,” Ramez Atallah of the Egyptian Bible Society told “And that they must love even those they feel are their enemies — a VERY difficult, counter-cultural message.”

Another Christian worker, whose name is withheld for security purposes, says protestors carry a dangerous agenda.

“The supposedly peaceful pro-Morsi protestors have been amassing weapons, attacking, torturing, and even killing those who oppose Morsi,” the worker wrote. “Today’s violence is well-coordinated to get Muslim Brotherhood back in power.”

Dykstra agrees that the group wants to hold on to its power and influence in Egyptian society.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is [not] going to lay down,” he says. “As a result, I think you can see more and more violence and probably more tension.”

Yesterday, they called for it on Twitter.

“We will not bow down, we will not cower, we will rise & rise again,” tweeted Gehad El-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, “until we push the military back into the barracks & restore democracy.”

In the face of imminent danger, Egyptian Christians remained focused on the Great Commission.

“Buildings can eventually be re-built, but when lost, souls can never be restored!” says Open Doors’ contact in Egypt.

Dykstra agrees.

“Supplies can be replaced, and churches can be rebuilt,” he states. “I think what we really have to focus on is the heart and souls of the people in Egypt.

“We need to pray for peace and the name of Jesus Christ to go out.”

Will you take a moment to pray for Egypt? Pray the chaotic nation will once again enjoy peace, pray wisdom for Egyptian armed forces as they handle major security issues.

Pray for Egyptian Christians as they try to forgive their attackers.

(Image courtesy SAT-7)

(Image courtesy SAT-7)

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