Will Egypt be the next Syria?
- Tuesday, 20 August 2013 |
- Posted in Articles |
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Written by the Director of Arab World Media & Pioneers Area Leader for Egypt
We, along with the rest of the world, have been shocked as events have continued to unfold in Egypt this summer. Is it a military coup? Or is it a valid step taken to save a nation from ruin? Is Egypt heading down the same path to destruction that we have seen so tragically played out in the country of Syria?
What we do know is that Egypt (similar to other countries in the Arab world) is standing at a crossroads and facing a very uncertain future. Over the last few days, we have seen multiple agendas, numerous perspectives, and increasingly determined factions – everyone trying to put their view across! At the same time, the age-old proverb, an enemy of my enemy is my friend, is bringing together the strangest of bedfellows, while the Muslim Brotherhood fights desperately to preserve its dream of seeing Egypt transformed into an Islamic state.
At a social, political, theological and ideological level, the Arab world is experiencing major paradigm shifts. A new Egypt, yet to be defined, is emerging. Those who live and minister in this country are experiencing the resulting escalation in tension. Eruptions of conflict will inevitably continue, and armed conflict may well become the norm. Christians are already finding themselves to be the soft targets for those who are bent on violence; arsonists in a wave of anti-Christian violence have attacked at least 25 churches across Egypt . This distressing message came to our GRMS follow-up partnership from an Egyptian Christian:
We are going through a terrible disaster and no one knows about it. We cannot go out of our homes even to get food. The Brotherhood supporters have burnt the courthouse and government building, four churches, shops belonging to Christians, a pharmacy and the home of a former member of parliament where they stole everything. There is confusion and gunfire on all sides. We don’t know what to do. I’m praying my message will reach you and that someone can do something for us. The Brotherhood supporters are strong here. We don’t know what to do.
But it is our firm belief that God is in control, and his eternal purpose to establish his kingdom is not shaken. Moreover, He is calling his people to keep calm and carry on. And although this might sound superficial, it reflects his constant purpose for us to keep praying, keep fasting, and keep on sharing the good news with Muslim peoples. We may need to find new ways of ministering in an increasingly hostile environment and be ready to endure persecution, but God’s call to reach out to those who are hungry for the gospel stands firm. It is our desire to make a difference for eternity in the lives of Muslims – Muslims like Amjed…
Amjed comes from a strongly fundamentalist family and has relatives who are involved in armed conflict (jihad) in the remote area [of Egypt] where he comes from. He has seen the Lord in a vision more than once. He contacted us to ask how he could find out more about the Christian faith. Unfortunately, we had no friends who could meet with him where he lives, so we invited him to come to Cairo and meet one of us here. He accepted our offer and we arranged for him to meet with someone. A friend prayed with him and encouraged him to give his life to the Lord and receive him as his personal Saviour – and he did!
Friends, let us continue to walk by faith and not by sight. Let us focus our every effort on changing eternity for the unreached.