Since August 14, there have been an increasing number of attacks against church property in
Egypt. As of August 19, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an Egyptian human rights group, had documented 55 incidents. Targets have included churches, Christian schools, charities, and an orphanage. Attacks also were directed at homes and businesses owned by Christians.
The violence is attributed to supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Morsi. After security forces
forcibly cleared two protest camps, the supporters turned their rage not only against the government, but also Christians. Christians are perceived as playing a large part in the removal of Morsi. For years, they have been subjected to antiChristian rhetoric by militant Islamist groups.
The property damage varies from minor to almost total destruction. Some buildings have had everything on the premises stolen. Others have been burned and a shell is all that remains.
Many moderate Muslims have shown solidarity with the Christians. At two monasteries,
Muslims and Christians joined together to occupy the grounds to prevent an imminent attack. When three nuns were being marched down the street like prisoners, a Muslim woman offered them safety. As a mob destroyed another church, Christians took refuge with their Muslim neighbors.
Families, teachers, pastors, business owners are living in fear. I wonder if they are reading the
words of Hebrews that we explored on Sunday. I wonder if they find comfort and strength in those verses. I wonder. And I pray. I pray for the safety of everyone who is in harm’s way in Egypt. I pray that they will not grow weary or lose heart. I hope you will pray, too.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every
weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set
before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.”
– Hebrews 12:1-3
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