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Published on 14 February, 2012

Muslim government leaders play their hand

Egypt (MNN) — Egypt is on a difficult path to change. 

Parliament spent its first week trying to settle in with
challenges and riots taking place just outside the main chambers. The
Muslim Brotherhood is expected to reveal the names of a coalition government as
soon as it's asked to form a new leadership.

That move
alone is causing some Christians concern. While in Egypt, we spoke with a community development ministry leader
who was involved with a meeting last week with the Ministers of the new
government.

For
security reasons, we'll call him "Khalid." What he witnessed changed his optimistic view of what the new Egypt will
look like for Christians. He says, "The Minister himself is a very Muslim
guy with a thick beard and a stamp on his face, and two or three men with the
same beard, and four or five veiled ladies. He was holding in his hands a necklace
counting the names of God while he is leading the conversation between
us."

Not only
that, but "the General Assembly of the Parliament [wears] full
beards. The president of the Parliament stopped one of the audiences because
this guy tried to read the Quran in the Parliament." Khalid went on to say that "there is a verse in the Quran that says,
'If someone reads the Quran, leave him until he finishes the verse.' So he has
to leave him…and another guy asked for (Muslim) prayer for the whole
[assembly]."   

Never before has a Muslim call to prayer been answered
inside the Parliament building during a session. "For the first time in Egypt, we see
this. Because of this, we know that lots of suffering will come
from this–especially because the leadership says [they will begin using Sharia]
to rule the country."

When asked when Sharia was likely to be implemented, Khalid
wryly noted, "Now, there are lots of poor people [who steal to eat]. They
can't cut the hands off of millions of people, so they said that when
we [recover more economically], they will [implement Sharia]."

For community development groups that are noted for their
open Gospel content, what will the future hold? It could become very difficult
for their teams. With the government
narrowing focus on Non-Government Organizations, it's possible they're already
under scrutiny. However, that won't stop
them. Khalid says, "The Bible said
the Spirit inside us will lead us to pray. I think we will ask the Lord to give
us wisdom and to give us [strength] and to help us."

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About Egypt

  • Primary Language: Arabic, Standard
  • Primary Religion: Islam
  • Evangelical: 3.9%
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