Gang warfare in Egypt, Christians killed

By February 7, 2011

Egypt (MNN) — While no one knows the political result of the unrest in Egypt, Christians are already feeling the effects of riotous distraction.

According to Assist News, the carnage took place in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, Minya province. Two Islamists groups, aided by Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Christians, killing 11, including children, and seriously injuring four others.

The report stated the massacre has nothing to do with the mayhem in Egypt, but the murderers took advantage of the lack of police protection and thought they could commit their crime and no one would notice.

Tom Doyle with E3 Partners says, "It's gang warfare out there, and there's nobody to protect the citizens when the government or the police have either disbanded and are not functioning, or are consumed with just protecting the government institutions and the buildings. There's nobody there to protect the people."

According to Doyle, Christians aren't sleeping. "One leader south of Cairo said, 'We get very little sleep at night because we have to defend our home. People are coming in and just taking homes and throwing families out and just taking them."

Another leader suggests another reason for Christians to be attacked. Doyle says, "Islamic hardliners are fully aware that Christians typically don't retaliate when they're hurt. So they become a prime target."

So far, the protests have focused on jobs, free speech and democratic elections, not religion, but a few radicals are using this distraction to attack Christians.

It's unclear what the end of Mubarak's rule would mean for religious minorities. But in recent years, Iraq has lost about half its historical Christian population because of persecution, and Christians have been leaving Iran and Lebanon in lesser numbers.

This battle isn't against flesh and blood, but it's a spiritual battle. "Satan is fighting for the soul of this country; we know what that's about," says Doyle. "We just invite believers in America, pastors, to take a moment in their sermons to pray for Egypt and call believers to prayer and fasting."

Quoting an Egyptian believer, Doyle believes God is going to use this for good. "Has there ever been a time in the history of Egypt where more believers in Jesus were praying for Egypt at once? We're believing God is going to use this for His glory."

E3 Partners helps train pastors and Christians leaders throughout the Middle East. You can support a leader. Click here to help.

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