Government pay increases not enough to quiet protests

By February 8, 2011

Egypt (MNN) — Egypt's cabinet announced yesterday a 15 percent salary increase for all government employees. The increases will take effect in April for the 6 million people on public payroll.

Despite these and other concessions, dissatisfaction with President Hosni Mubarak and his regime remains deep in the hearts of many Egyptians. Sources say that protesters still plan to stay put until Mubarak steps down.

Greg Musselman with Voice of the Martyrs, Canada says young Egyptians are looking for something completely different than that brought on by their parents' traditions.

"They're not just satisfied with the way their parents did it, and the generations before them. They don't want to live under oppression; they want the freedoms," explains Musselman.

Musselman says hopelessness often leads to desperate cries for divine intervention. "They look at their future: they see it as bleak in places like Egypt with high unemployment. You've got the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and a small middle class. So they're not seeing a lot of hope. It's in those situations, in those environments, where people really start to cry out to God. They become desperate."

As a result, there is hope that the people will be more open now to the Gospel than before. Christians have historically been persecuted in Egypt, but Voice of the Martyrs has seen the scenario before. "We've seen in countries like Iran where many young people are saying, ‘We don't want Islam; we want to be able to choose.' And many are choosing Christ. So we're praying that this will happen in Egypt."

Believers in Egypt are praying for the same thing. Many Christians are using this unrest as an opportunity to bring hope into the lives of their struggling countrymen. Some believers are upset with the government along with other protesters, but the strength they find in Christ gives them a hope their Muslim brothers don't have.

Christians have reportedly tried to have at least one person praying at all times, covering the country in prayer around the clock. Others are fasting, seeking God's wisdom. Already, people are coming to Christ.

"We're praying that those we work with, and other mission organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and a number of these other places, that their work would be increased in the sense that more people would be open to Christ," says Mussleman.

Pray that this would be a fruitful time for the kingdom, even–or perhaps especially–in the midst of turmoil.

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