Egypt (MNN) — A potentially ugly confrontation
is brewing in one of the Arab Spring countries.
Friday August 24
has been dubbed Egypt's "Second Day of Anger." The actions of President Mohamed Morsi 12
days ago fueled the tensions. Open
Doors President and CEO Carl Moeller
explains, "There's a lot of
disaffection among Coptic Christians about the one-party de facto situation in
Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood being the primary winner of all the elections
and everything that has gone on–the power that's being consolidated in the
presidency right now."
Fearing a turn toward an Islamic state, Moeller adds, "Many
in Egypt, including secularists and evangelicals, also feel like the Revolution
has been stolen, and so they're calling on people to take to the streets in
opposition to this 'one-party man' show, they're saying, which, in effect,
could be highly confrontational. "
Hostility ratcheted up a notch when the top
Sunni Muslim cleric issued a fatwa. His
decree labeled demonstrators as "infidel," which essentially legitimized
the killing of protestors who were marching in the nationwide rallies.
all they want to do is restore the objectives and accomplishments of Egypt's
historic January 25th Revolution. Being
on the streets will be dangerous in two ways, Moeller says. One: if there is a violent response to the
demonstration, and two: "As the Muslim Brotherhood, they've called for
people to stay home. Those that come out in the streets are obviously singling
themselves out as not participating in the Muslim Brotherhood, not listening to
their agenda, and it could be violent against, what is essentially, the
nervous, dreading the potential chaos that could erupt and drag on. "Who
knows what tomorrow holds? In something like this, the Church can easily be the
target of the anger of a mob because it represents sort of 'opposition' to what's happening politically,"
he adds, but that's where prayer comes in. "The Church is praying that this protest, this demonstration,
remains peaceful. [They're praying] that, on the Christian side, they are not going to do
anything to provoke or overly antagonize the government. They're praying that
the government shows great restraint in allowing this protest to take place."
The scenario is
vague. There could be a swift, irrevocable response. The response could be
delayed, or there may not be an official response at all. Moeller says the last time the Christian
community was silenced, the end result was not a squashing of faith, at
all. In fact, he says marginal Muslims
have been drawn to the message of Christ. "The need for Bibles, the desire
for Bibles, training, Muslims coming to faith in Christ: those numbers are all
way, way up. A lot of the overt Christian ministry has been reduced somewhat
because there's difficulty in carrying on programs if there's no infrastructure
and no security to carry them out."
Crackdowns would only slow things down, but
not stop the advance of the Gospel. The
question is: how extreme will the response be?
Egypt is holding her breath, on her
knees. Will you join her? Our Featured Links Section has more.