Egypt (MNN) — Egyptian Christians continue to face persecution, and the pressure highlights the need to pray for those suffering.
Oppression has worsened with the pandemic, with believers suffering from everything from unemployment to lack of medical care. Persecution can even become violent. On October 5, Coptic Christians were attacked after an incident at a wedding. Tom Doyle of Uncharted Ministries says incidents like these are tragically normal.
“Christians have to brace themselves for these kinds of attacks, especially when there are public services, spiritual holidays, weddings, or even funerals,” he says.
This persecution makes life even more difficult for people who convert from Islam to Christianity, as those in the Church often don’t know who to trust.
“When [Muslims] do come to Christ, it’s difficult for them because they typically encounter persecution and isolation. [It’s] a very real possibility that the people they love the most, their families, are the biggest threats in their lives,” Doyle says.
“You also have isolation in Muslim dominated countries. Believers in Christ aren’t always ready to drop the past and assume that because someone came to faith in Christ they’re not a threat. There have been many faked conversions where Muslims went into churches, found out who the leaders were, and just ratted them out to the government.”
Prayer for the Persecuted
With these obstacles in mind, prayer for the persecuted church is vital. November 1 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, and believers around the world will spend the month praying for brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer because of their faith.
Doyle also encourages the Church to remember November 18, which will be the first MBB (Muslim background believer) Global Prayer Day.
“On November 18, be praying for Muslim background believers who have risked it all – family, jobs, security – to come to faith in Christ.”
This important day will be a time to remember persecuted Christians who often face very personal persecution and must overcome distrust from local believers and churches.
Header photo courtesy of Amaury Gutierrez via Unsplash.