Egypt’s military has anti-Christian history

By February 15, 2011

Egypt (MNN) — The pictures and reports appear to be positive in Egypt. There's relative calm, but the organization in power doesn't have a good track record when it comes to Christians.

With the military in control and the constitution set aside, many are wondering what will happen in the next six months. The constitution is expected to be revised, followed by national elections.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says while the military has done well so far, they don't have a very good track record. He says an Egyptian Christian did not fare well under their watch. "When his unit members and his commander found out that he was a Christian, they made his life miserable and ultimately beat him to the point that he died."

While this may have been an isolated incident, Nettleton says it's still a concern.

However, there are other issues, too. While democracy is good, it's not always good for those in the minority. "What happens in a country that's majority rule? If there a genuine election and yet we know that almost 87 percent of the people are Muslim, what religious freedoms will be protected, as that majority begins to vote and begins to make decisions?"

A lot hinges on hope. Nettleton says, "We hope that freedoms are protected. We hope that Egypt's people get to choose their leadership. That's really the hard work that has to be done by the Egyptian people and by the government."

That hope is also infused with the reality that Christians number 13 percent of the population. Nettleton believes they'll have at least a voice in the political process.

He also agrees that there is a spiritual awakening in Egypt. "People [are] coming to a more personal faith from an Orthodox background. People are coming to faith out of an Islamic background. There is definitely a move of God in the country."

There's also another bright spot. "There were stories of Christians and Muslims standing side-by-side, praying together for their country and working together to have a voice in this amazing process. We hope that this is a sign of good things, and we pray that the revival that we've heard about continues."

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