Egypt Prayers

August 19, 2013

The news out of Egypt has generally not been good for months, but it has been horrible for the past week. Amid violent protests and clashes, hundreds have been killed. Additionally, numerous Christian churches and institutions have been burned and attacked. One burned church then canceled its Sunday prayers for the first time in 1,600 years! The sectarian violence targeting Christians is sadly not surprising as minorities are often the most vulnerable in times of political instability. As I reported in an Ethics Daily article last month, Nabil Costa of Lebanon noted this reality during a session at the Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) to explain how Christians view regimes in the Middle East. The European Baptist Federation (EBF), a regional body of the BWA that includes the Egyptian Baptist Convention among its members, today issued a request for prayer. The statement notes that EBF leaders have not been able to reach Egyptian Baptist leaders recently. In the statement, EBF General Secretary Tony Peck (who spoke on the same BWA panel as Costa) stated:

Christian leaders are calling for a speedy and peaceful end to the violence, and want to join themselves with those who wish to see their country as a place where people of different faiths and persuasions can live alongside one another in peace.
Peck offered a longer take on the situation on his personal blog. He offered a good assessment of the difficulty for Egyptian Christians:
It seems to me that Egyptian Christians are now in an unenviably dangerous situation. Will they be able to continue to protest about the attacks on them and the possible far-reaching loss to their religious freedom if radical Islamicists come to power; whilst at the same time making it clear that that they abhor the loss of life which happens when the military fires on civilians? I pray for much wisdom for their leaders in these days.
Peck also notes his hope for Muslim-Baptist cooperation in the midst of the violence. May we all join the request to pray for Egypt.