After a revolution in 2011 the future for Egypt looked bright. But after several tough years where conservative Muslim groups have come to power, and then been overthrown, the country faces an uncertain future. The process of choosing a new government is underway, and Christians in Egypt are asking for prayer as the country transitions from military rule.
Change began to take place in Egypt with the arrival of the ‘Arab Spring’ in January 2011. Yusuf*, an Egyptian believer, looks back on the past few years:
“When the images of the revolting crowds came in on TV from Tahrir Square back in January 2011, I thought, ‘It will only take them a few tear gas bombs and a couple of water cannons to dismantle the angry crowd.’ I underestimated the power of the people – or the change God was about to bring.
“The first few days of the people’s revolution of 2011 took me by surprise… Our big country fell into chaos in just a few hours. [Former President] Mubarak had ruled for three decades. Suddenly the ground below his feet shook like an earthquake, until finally he fell through one of the cracks, taking many of his administration with him.
“Hopes which were buried in our subconscious came to the surface: freedom for all, social welfare brought back to life, a thriving church. No longer would we have to fear the police when evangelising. No longer would we be second class citizens. After all, didn’t we take part in the revolution as much as the Muslims, even though we were smaller in number?
“When Mubarak stepped down in February 2011, we were not aware then that Egypt was jumping from the frying pan into the fire. For reasons unknown to us, God allowed the Muslim Brotherhood and all their affiliated Islamic radical groups to take over the country… For Christians and moderate Muslims, fear of the state was replaced with fear of radical Muslims.
He wanted us to come together before Him, pray and seek His Kingdom first rather than safety and comfort.
“The church woke up. We needed to pray and discovered that God allowed his children to come under even more pressure. He wanted us to come together before Him, pray and seek His Kingdom first rather than safety and comfort.
“While many left what seemed a sinking ship, others came together. The increasing pressure on the church ignited a spirit of prayer and unity among Christians from different denominations.
“The hostile context created an atmosphere of love among Christians. The language of hatred was answered with words of forgiveness. The gagging of the church’s mouth led to people speaking more boldly about their faith.
“I listen to my friends and I hear stories of violence. Yet I learned that God is sovereignly in control. The people didn’t set the Middle East and North Africa on fire, God did. His Holy Spirit has descended in many hearts of Christians and Muslims.”
Although stability in Egypt has been restored considerably, there are concerns that extremists may wish to disrupt the elections. Please join our Egyptian brothers and sisters in prayer for their nation.
*name changed for security reasons
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