A long list has been circulated in the Egyptian media, as well as on social networks, containing some of the names and/or numbers of churches, monasteries, Christian schools and shops/bookshops, pharmacies and houses of Christians that have been attacked, looted, destroyed and eventually, many of them, burned down by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters. These attacks have taken place in Fayoum, Bani Suwief, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Giza and Cairo in revenge for the forced evacuation of the two main MB demonstration camps based in Cairo and Giza.
Fanatic supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, armed with an array of weapons including machine guns and Molotov cocktails, have been attacking peaceful Christians, burning down their churches, shops and houses in a campaign to not only to show their domination, but also to punish multitudes of Christians for standing against the policies of former president Morsi and his fallen regime.
In Minya, groups of armed MB supporters converged on a village street and spent the entire evening setting fire to one Christian shop/ house after the other until they were all gone. No police or army forces were present; no one was there to offer help or provide protection.
A source in Minya said that in one village, MB supporters have openly warned Christian women that if they are caught walking in the street they will be killed. Some Muslim veiled women are helping their Christian women neighbors by buying the groceries they need so they do not have to risk going out. In one company, female Muslim employees had to bring in “veils” to cover up their Christian colleagues in order to smuggle them back home! In another village, a Christian man was killed by attackers as he tried to defend his church. “I can’t express in words how he was killed in cold blood and what was done with his body afterwards!” decried the source.
In another village, attackers broke down the crosses of the local church and held a party around the fire from the burning crosses.
One Christian in Egypt suggests four things Egyptian Christians need to come to terms with:
- The attack against the Christians of Egypt is nothing less than a furious satanic attack that aims at terrorizing Christians, imprisoning them in their homes helplessly with no guarantee of protection so their love, peace, hope and testimony may be neutralized.
- Christians in Egypt are facing a severe time of persecution and suffering that they have not witnessed since Roman times.
- Christians of Egypt need to stay focused and follow the model of the Lord Jesus Christ who, when beaten and lashed, did not show any hatred for His persecutors. He only showed love and asked forgiveness for them. This Christ-like attitude sounds too heavenly and far away from human reach, yet God promised that in times of persecution He would give us strength and comfort our hearts.
- Christians of Egypt, more than any time before, need to show love.
A Christian who lives near one of the two locations where Muslim Brotherhood supporters have been camping and demonstrating over the last 45 days shared his recent experience. After the Muslim brotherhood crowds were forced to leave, he returned to check on the apartment he had deserted 45 days before. Walking through his neighborhood, he saw many confused and misled men and women who were talking about the assumed victory of the Muslim Brotherhood over the “enemy.” Among themselves, they were praising their leadership.
But, in spite of the attacks this Egyptian brother shares, “I tried hard to hate them. They are, after all, burning my entire country down with ignorant and brainwashed minds. Instead, I found myself moved by a divine power to enter a shop owned by a Muslim Brotherhood man and purchase boxes of bottled water. In tears I moved from one man to another, one woman to another, handing bottles to anyone who came my way. After all, they too need the love of Christ.”
Father, how we weep over the plight of Your people in Egypt, people with whom we share faith, people whose once-peaceful lives have been turned into daily tragedy. We pray Your peace to reign over them in the midst of chaos. We pray that You will fill them to overflowing with Your compassion and mercy that it might flow out into the lives of their neighbors, even the lives of their enemies. We pray that You will grant them wisdom, discernment and protection as they stand boldly proclaiming Christ in the enemy camp. Give them times of sweet rest as the war rages around them, that they might persevere to the end. And we call on You to quickly bring peace to Egypt. In the name of Jesus our only hope in times of trouble, Amen.