The Middle East and North Africa take their cues from Egypt

By April 7, 2011

Egypt (MNN) — The revolution of Egypt no longer dominates
the headlines.

However, Carl Moeller with Open Doors USA says discounting the
changes in Egypt could be a costly mistake. "Egypt still is in the midst of sorting out what this revolution is
going to look like. The reality is that there's still an incredible amount of
uncertainty as to which direction Egypt is going to go. As a result, there's an
incredible amount of uncertainty and continuing instability for the entire

More to the point, Moeller says, Egypt is a driving force in
the policies of North Africa. "Egyptians
have had the tradition of setting the course for a large part of the
intellectual direction of Islam."

With a leadership vacuum in place of a presidency, Islamists are looking for huge gains in the
time of "freer politics." "We've talked before about the role that the Muslim
Brotherhood has had in being the seedbed of extremist movements for the last
half a century. Even though we may not
see a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, there's no doubt that there's
going to be a far greater role for them in a future government in Egypt."

Moeller goes on to say that at the same time, other regimes
are looking to how Egypt settles her affairs. "They're going to move very
quickly to new elections, which sounds good to us in the West. But the reality
is: the only organized parties there are Mubarak's party, the National Party,
and the Muslim Brotherhood. There's sort of an ‘unholy alliance' between those
two to pull this off quickly so they can retain whatever power they can grab."

Meanwhile, blame is flying as the U.S. tries to support other
threatened States in the Middle East and North Africa. Foreign policy efforts are trickier because
a misstep could prove costly. There's
a line of black and white thinking emerging that lumps former president Hosni
Mubarak, his supporters, and allies into a type of "anti-democracy" camp. 

Moeller says, "Beware when they begin to associate the
United States with the old regimes. I saw another account where the United
States was particularly being blamed for not acting forcefully enough to
support the revolution there."

Before the revolution, the idea that Egypt might one day
become an Islamic state wasn't up for debate. Now, it's not out of the realm of
possibility as disillusionment grows over events in Libya.

At the same time, "In the immediate aftermath of
revolutions, there are opportunities. We saw that in Eastern Europe in the
1990s: there was a window of time where it was incredibly open, and then the
doors and the windows began to shut as new power structures became entrenched
against the church."

Christians were front and center during the initial movement
for change. That earned them
credibility. Moeller says the
combination of openness and credibility means believers have to "make hay while
the sun is shining." "This is an
opportunity for us, in the midst of some of these things, to do some
unprecedented Scripture deliveries, literature work, as well as doing some
training to equip church leaders for the inevitable instability that's going to
be around for some time."

Until the door closes, there's an urgency to which Open
Doors is responding. "We know that God is sovereign, and that God's timing here
is impeccable. Some of our storage facilities that have been used as
distribution points for literatures are basically empty."

Even as the possibility of a caliphate looms, Moeller says, "Christians
continue to ask us to pray for them that they would continue to be a light of
hope and liberty in Jesus Christ to their culture."

Click here to help.

Leave a Reply

Help us get the word out: