Showing Love to our Neighbors during Ramadan
Ramadan is coming to a close soon, and while this month is difficult for Christians because of the increased discrimination and persecution they experience, it is also a month in which they have opportunity to show love to their neighbors.
Over the last few years, some churches in Egypt have been hosting street breakfast tables to show Christian love and kindness to fasting Muslims in their neighborhoods. These tables demonstrated the loving message of the church in a country with an 85% Muslim-majority population. But this year, security proves to be an issue. Due to numerous recent attacks, many churches have not been permitted to host breakfast tables. The security situation is too unstable.
After each major attack that hits the Christian community in Egypt, the following question remains: should we take more risks and go out to show our love to the Muslims, or should we stay safe inside our churches and our homes? Can church and home even be considered safe? Isn’t that what the enemy wants us to do?
The security situation could make us passive and scared, but it can also light the fire of Christs love. A few days ago, a group of Christians in a southern Egyptian city decided to ignore the warnings and take risks! They thought that if people can’t come to their breakfast tables, they could go to them. They collected some money from church members and put together 100 boxes; each included some basic food items and a couple of toys for young children. They loaded the boxes into a truck and headed to a small, remote village and visited the simple homes of the Muslim villagers one-by-one, offering them the gift box. They had friendly conversations with them and played with their children when they were allowed. They prayed for the families, asking for healing from sicknesses, a job for a father or son and for many other requests.
Maged*, a Christian young man, was one of those who participated in the distribution of the boxes. He shared: “In one of the homes, the husband said to us: ‘You are good people. I don’t understand how you come to help us when we are different than you. You show us a love and respect that we don’t see from anybody else.’ People are always open for prolonged talks. They feel safe with us when we visit their homes. When we visit these people and show them God’s love, we feel the heart of Jesus.”
*Names changed for security reasons