Egypt (MNN) — At least a dozen
people were killed and roughly 140 wounded in violence between Christians and Muslims in
Cairo on Tuesday night.
Carl Moeller with Open
Doors says, "A local imam called out their people of the
village to ‘kill all the Christians.' It is disappointing that so close on the
heels of a grand sweep of democracy and good feeling between Christians and
Muslims in that country, we see such a quick turn back to the extremism."
The mob formed quickly as anger rose
over last week's burning of a church in a Cairo suburb–the result of a
relationship and a feud between the families. It was the second burst of religious fighting in a week, adding to the
sense of chaos growing in a leaderless country.
The concern is that this could give rise to more reprisal
violence. Moeller agrees. "The situation
is, unfortunately, not much different than the situation in some of these
villages that was happening under Mubarak. In fact, in some ways, the fears are
that the situations are worse because of the lack of centralized governmental
Although the military was supposed to be in control after
Mubarak stepped down, there aren't enough troops to keep every street from
erupting. Still, there's an expectation
brimming with hope. "Our brothers and
sisters in Egypt have had the most optimistic view on this because, frankly,
their situation was bad. Any change put forth the promise of a better Egypt and
a better life."
The transitional period is key to the freedoms minorities
will experience. The Muslim Brotherhood
is taking a pro-democracy stance. What
that means in practice could be very different from "freedom." Moeller explains, "Unfortunately, as is often the case in
revolutions, the ones that emerge as the most organized and the strongest on
these things are the ideological committed In this case, these are the extremists
groups that are calling for a more radicalized Sharia law based Egypt in the
"Our prayer is that it doesn't take a violent turn, as these
indicators [predict]. However, we recognize that the church will be under
pressure in the next few months–and maybe more pressure than ever before," Moeller says.
Right now, it's hard to anticipate what the future holds for
believers. Pray for those facing economic and social
challenges because of their Christian faith. Pray that the new government
will uphold the constitutional freedom of religion. Pray that the ministry of churches in Egypt
will continue and that the Gospel will be preached throughout this nation.