Egypt (MNN) – In November, three Coptic churches caught fire in Egypt. Currently, ongoing investigations seek to determine the causes of the church fires. Electrical short circuits have already become suggested culprits. However, Christians from these Churches are unconvinced.
Egyptian Church Remains Strong
SAT-7, a satellite TV ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is offering encouragement to believers in the area. Rex Rogers, president of SAT-7 USA, recently visited Egypt. He says the Church in the Middle East faces a lot of pressure, but they are still living out their faith.
“The Coptic Church is alive and well. There are Evangelical churches that exist in Egypt that as long as they’re not out publicly and actively proselytizing, they’re pretty much left alone. Unless, again, something happens with an extremist,” Rogers says.
Though the church fires are suspicious, Rogers says the Church in the Middle East is resilient and robust. It is an example of what it means to live out James 1:2:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
Remember Those in Trials
Through its programming, SAT-7 encourages believers and reminds them they are not alone. Explore SAT-7’s channels and programs here.
“SAT-7 always exists not to necessarily react to everything that’s in the news – although it wants to be relevant and speak to people’s everyday problems and circumstances – but to take them back to the faith. What does God say in Scripture about His sovereignty? What does He say about His protection? What does He say about his blessing even in the face of walking through the valley of the shadow of death?” Rogers says.
Even in parts of the Arab world where Christians face restrictions, Rogers says the Church is growing. Similar to the experiences of the first century Church, God is not surprised when trials come. Even when times are hard, God is still present. The Christians in the Middle East know this, but they could also use the encouragement of knowing the global Church cares about their challenges and is praying for them.
Pray for the encouragement and perseverance of the Church in Egypt. Ask God to protect and fortify the work there, too. Pray for Egyptian believers’ ability to make God’s love visible while respecting local laws.
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Header photo courtesy of SAT-7.