I See the Face of Jesus during the ‘Storm In my Home Land of Egypt
The following blog is from an Open Doors worker in Egypt about the chaotic, violent situation in Egypt, especially for Christians.
Sept. 18, 2012:
This morning, I started my day with a cup of tea, checking the news over the Internet. Scrolling down the screen, I read one very significant piece of news that was widely published in the Egyptian media:
“The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares it will be granting asylum for Members of an ethnic religious group from North Africa but primarily Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination in the country. Christians of Egypt who have been threatened and/or suffered persecution for their faith without getting any help and support from the Egyptian authorities.”
Well… nice of them, indeed if this was ever mentioned in the letter of Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs!
If true, this could be great news for many Coptic Christians who have been desperately trying to leave our country because of the difficulties and complications we’re facing in Egypt after last year’s January 25th Revolution. Egypt now has a president and a prime minister from the Muslim Brotherhood party.
The arising domination and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Salafists in many aspects have put lots of fear and concern in the hearts of many Egyptian Christians. Their hope of a new Egypt where Coptic Christians from all denominations may gain back some of their many long-lost rights has faded away.
And at the same time, so did their hope for a better and honorable life for themselves and their children.
So this asylum offer looks like great news for many Coptic Christians. But is this really what the Church of Egypt needs?
I can understand and appreciate with deep respect how the Western countries may move to open windows of opportunities for Egypt’s Coptic Christians to try to help them find a way out of their felt misery. I can also understand that immigration is a very personal decision, and that every family or individual has the right to decide where they wish to live.
It just breaks my heart that as we work hard here in Egypt to encourage Christians to stay in their homeland to reflect the shining light of Jesus to our nation and get their hope day after day from the Master, that this well-meaning gesture from the West can encourage their hearts to run after other hopes.
For myself, I have found that looking for the shining face of Jesus in the middle of the dark, long night and then to see Him coming walking on the waves in the middle of high storms is indeed a tremendous joy.
I just hope and pray that we Egyptian Christians may always be able to see His face.
Father, we weep over the suffering of Your church in Egypt. We understand their fear and hopelessness in the light of political changes that have produced insecurity. We pray that You would replace their fear with faith and courage to stand firm in their faith and with hearts of compassion to “reflect the shining light of Jesus to [their] nation.” Grant them wisdom when considering whether to remain in Egypt or flee, knowing that Your Spirit might well whisper a different message of wisdom to each family. And we boldly ask that You bring about justice and mercy as the new government establishes its rule. In the name of Jesus our only true hope, Amen.