Egypt (MNN/ODM) — In the wake of the brutal quell of the
Christian protest in Tahrir Square, Egypt lost her finance minister and her
deputy prime minister.
Both men resigned in protest over the government's handling
of the uprisings that left 26 dead. Open Doors USA President Carl
Moeller comments, "I think it's a good sign that the seriousness of this
issue is taking root in the political structures and in the emerging political
reality. Egypt cannot have a future if it chooses to have extremists dictate
the future for Egypt."
Throngs of Egyptians gathered to protest the ruling military
council during the funeral procession of 17 Christian protesters who died
over the heavy-handed response gave way to shock and outrage in the Christian
community. Moeller says likely there's more to come. "The
Christian community has felt an increasing pressure since the Arab Spring, and
the reality for the Church is that this pressure is now taking more violent
from Cairo, who requested to stay anonymous, told Open Doors: "The Christians
went out on a peaceful demonstration…it is taped. You can see the people
walking from one place in the city in the direction of the television station
where several demonstrations have been held since the revolution. It was a
mixed group, including men, women and also children. They were singing praise
songs and encouraging each other to lift up their heads with pride."
tells us that "according to our friend there, who was actually at the
morgue and lost a loved one, three of the 24 were actually killed by bullets
from the security forces. But the 21 were killed by the vehicles that [the security forces] were
driving, running them over."
don't know exactly how many Christians were killed and wounded," the Christian
adds. "But we know it was many. Most media say 24 killed and some 250 wounded.
Over the next few days, we will know the exact number. What I heard is that
there will be a mass funeral in the cathedral."
Christians called for a night of prayer on Monday for the victims of the
violence and for the current situation of the church. "There was an overnight
prayer from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. this morning," the Open Doors contact shares. "And
a country-wide call for fasting and prayer will be held from Wednesday until
adds that the tragedy is drawing people together in unity before Christ. "The evangelical church of Egypt is also respecting
that call and asking its parishioners to also be fasting and praying for the
pastor from Cairo tells Open Doors: "I think it is very good that the Coptic Church
called for the three days of prayer and fasting. The government is not
listening to their cry, so they seek help from the Highest Authority."
cautions that the tensions have a low flashpoint. "Pray that the natural, normal emotions
of grief don't evolve into anger and rage to produce a cycle of violence that
would further escalate this crisis." He adds that there is opportunity for change. "The
church wants to establish a dialogue with the process of creating a new
government in Egypt. The church can possibly see this as an opportunity for
their legitimacy to be established."
It's also a
strategic point for other outreach. Moeller
points out that "Egypt is a thought leader, and it's the intellectual
capital of Islam. We need to remember that as Egypt goes, so goes most of the Muslim
world, so this is a vital place for us to be targeting our prayers."