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Editorial: Revolt against Morsi shows fa...

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Editorial: Revolt against Morsi shows failure of “Arab Spring” in Egypt

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Editorial: Revolt against Morsi shows failure of “Arab Spring” in Egypt

Country/Region: Egypt, Middle East and North Africa

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By Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid

The tumultuous events in Egypt this week that resulted yesterday (3 July) in the ousting of Islamist President Mohammad Morsi have exposed the failure of the “Arab Spring” to bring democracy and freedom to the country.

Mohammad Morsi has been ousted by the Egyptian army
Mohammad Morsi has been ousted by the Egyptian army
Forcalgeria / CC BY-SA 3.0

Amid mounting opposition to Morsi’s dictatorial rule, millions of protestors, including youth, secularists and Christians, took to the streets on Sunday (30 June) to mark his first anniversary in office.

The opposition Tamarod (“Rebel”) movement said that it had gathered more than 22 million signatures, around nine million more people than voted for Morsi, calling for him to go.

Protests continued the following day, with activists storming the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails.

The military then threw its considerable weight behind the protestors, telling the country’s leaders on Monday (1 July) that they had 48 hours to “meet the demands of the people” or else it would step in to restore order. Yesterday, they followed that warning through decisively, putting Morsi under house arrest, suspending the Islamist-backed constitution and pledging to hold new elections.   

Morsi and his supporters have been adamant that, because he was elected in a fair, democratic vote, the people have no right to remove him by protest. But what he and the Muslim Brotherhood have failed to realise is that democracy is about much more than merely holding elections. It is about inclusion, equality and ruling by consent. As the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote:

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost. (Politics)

But Morsi and the Brotherhood have ridden rough-shod over the fundamental principles of democracy, using people’s votes, cast in good faith, to seize control of key institutions that should be independent and impose their own agenda on Egyptian society.

Like all dictators, Morsi fell into the trap of believing that the way to retain power is to tighten one’s grip on it, when actually it can be secured in the long-term only by giving it away. For this builds trust, consensus and mutual support.

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    • Heavenly Father, we lift up to You today the heartbroken family of Mary Sameh George, a young Christian woman who was killed in an Islamist attack on a church in Egypt. We pray that You will comfort them and give them Your peace. We thank You that Mary was not ashamed to make her allegiance to You known, even taking the risk of provoking murderous anger against herself. We pray also for the families of three others who were killed in this attack at a church in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, on 28 March. Lord God, may the hostility of Muslim Brotherhood supporters towards Christians in Egypt be restrained. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 20 hours ago

    • Give thanks that as believers in some areas of Egypt continue to be at risk of violence from Islamists, Barnabas Aid is able to provide various kinds of practical help for needy Christians there, especially those most affected by the political turmoil. We are supporting Christian families in Upper Egypt with housing costs, medicines, food and schooling for their children, and 30 Christian students who were on the verge of dropping out of education because of lack of money have received funding to complete their education. Pray for all those receiving this help, that they will also be encouraged spiritually. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that the authorities in Egypt are pursuing justice for the Christian community following widespread violence against them by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer. Christians were scapegoated by the Islamists for the downfall of President Mohammed Morsi. On 14 August, mobs torched scores of churches, Christian institutions and private property in what was described as the worst single day of violence against the Egyptian Church since the 14th century. Over 100 Muslims have been charged in connection with the attacks; at the time of writing they were due to stand trial for rioting, attacking citizens and targeting the churches and homes of Christians. Pray that justice will be done and restitution made to churches and individuals who suffered material losses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “I was so happy and treasure this Word of God. It brings me so much peace and hope.” Uu Dee KoMang, an elderly woman in Burma (Myanmar), was one of many Christians who recently received a Kachin Bible through Barnabas Aid. Two years ago the Burmese army entered her village and ordered everyone to leave within the hour. Uu Dee took some clothes and food and ran, but her Bible was too heavy to carry. Now living in a relocation camp, she regretted not taking it, until the Bibles from Barnabas arrived. Pray that God’s Word will comfort and strengthen these believers who have lost so much and will give them encouragement for the future. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for three Christian prisoners of conscience in Vietnam who are being denied access to Bibles and other sources of spiritual support. Prison guards in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa province have refused to allow Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer and activist, and bloggers Maria To Phong Tan and Paul Tran Minh Nhat to receive visits from their church leaders and have prevented them from receiving Communion. Maria is serving a ten-year prison sentence in a harsh labour camp; she has been beaten by other inmates. Pray that the Lord will sustain and build up the faith of our brothers and sister as they cry out to Him in their need (Psalm 142:6). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

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