Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Friday 02 March 2012
Lent Prayer - Egypt
Project(s): 11-910, 11-220, 11-926, 11-1001
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Egypt
Egypt was wracked by turmoil in 2011, leaving the country’s Christians in a state of grievous distress. The toppling of former President Mubarak in February seemed to offer some prospect of greater freedoms, but subsequent events have largely dashed these hopes.
Barnabas has funded solar panels
Since the revolution there has been an alarming surge in violent attacks on Christian individuals and communities. Christians have been killed and injured by Muslim mobs, and their churches have been damaged or destroyed. The military government has done little to protect them, and in one incident on 9 October, Christians came under brutal attack from security forces, Islamists and violent thugs as they protested peacefully in Cairo against an attack on a church. At least 25 people, most of them Christians, were killed in the violent clashes.
On Monday 28 November 2011 Egyptians began voting in the first stage of an election process that will extend until March 2012. Early results of the first stage of the parliamentary elections indicated a decisive victory for Islamist parties, as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) appeared to emerge with the largest share of the vote: around 40% with its coalition partners. Another bloc headed by the more hard line Islamist Salafist party al-Nur looked set to take as much as 25%. The newly-formed, secular liberal parties were unable to compete successfully with the Islamists, who were already well established and organised.
Egyptian Christians have suffered centuries of discrimination, and most of the wealthier Christians left the country in the last few decades. Those who remain – an estimated 8 million people (10% of the population) – largely live in extreme poverty. They struggle with crippling restrictions and injustice, as well as violence related to the construction and repair of church buildings. Converts from Islam are acutely vulnerable. It is estimated that up to 300,000 Christians have emigrated since January 2011. Last year’s events suggest that the Christians’ plight is unlikely to be relieved in the near future.
Barnabas Fund projects include:
- Egypt General Fund (Ref. 11-910)
- Feeding needy families (Ref. 11-220)
- Agricultural training and job creation (Ref. 11-926)
- Solar panels for garb age village (Ref. 11-1001)
This article is taken from
“Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -.