Given the response to the first blog I put out about this, I felt it appropriate to put out this followup - part of an "on the ground" assessment from some "family" members who are directly connected to the on-going situation in Egypt. I want to thank you for your continued prayers for Egypt, and our brothers and sisters there. I also encourage you to read the larger article, share it, and continue to mobilize prayer. Thank you.
With many news reports offered from many different angles, most people are wondering what is really happening in the heart of the Arab World. Is the Muslim Brotherhood the victim or the aggressor? Is the Egyptian military a peace- keeping or peace-destroying force? And what media is to be believed and trusted - the Al-Jazeera story of a victimized Muslim Brotherhood, or a Fox News story of a compassionate military under attack? Once again, we find that every point of view is a 'view from a point'. The simple truth is that all 'realities' in Egypt today are rooted in personal perspectives, and every perspective is as subjective as the 'reason' for the latest protest or violence. Every cause is justified by the beliefs of the individual holding the weapon.
However, we can trace some common threads in the views expressed by Egyptian Christian leaders, and these aid our understanding of the current situation. The following article offers some observations gained from interviewing a number of Egyptian leaders in recent days, asking for their input as we attempt to gain a Biblical perspective of these significant events.
A Time of Opportunity
Everyone agrees that the current situation in Egypt will present the Church – in Egypt, the Arab World, and possibly the world – with one of the greatest opportunities of this generation. Many Muslims are undoubtedly questioning their faith and Christian scholars predict that this could be the beginning of the end of Islam. One leader explained that if all the Christian leaders across the globe had met together with the goal of exposing Islam to its followers, they would not have been able to plan what God has initiated. Never before have so many asked so much about a faith that has oppressed so many for so long. Now is the time for the Church to recognise the opportunities that God is presenting.
Responding and Reacting
Egyptians would have clearly seen the difference between the response of Christians and the reaction of Muslims who found themselves under attack. This alone is one of the greatest testimonies in this troubled nation and will be one of the reasons why Muslims will be questioning what they thought to be true. The following contradicting comments were heard recently on TV:
"If they burn all our churches then we will pray to Jesus in your mosques, but we will never do to you what you are doing to us" (the response from a Coptic leader after the attacks on Egyptian churches).
"You spray us with water guns but we will spray you with blood" (the reaction of a Muslim Brotherhood leader when they were attacked by the military).
From a Christian perspective, the tragic events of churches being torched and Christians attacked can also be seen as a blessing in disguise. The response of Christian leaders across the nation presented Muslims with a real and tangible reflection of the spirit of Christ. The differences between love and hatred, forgiveness and retaliation, prayer and insult were never as obvious as on the day when churches were attacked and Christians were killed. While tragic, the events were also victorious. Christ's example was revealed through His followers and a nation paid attention. Once again, this Biblical truth was evident: that all things work together for HIS good for those whose hope is in the Lord. (Romans 8:28)
From One Faith to Non Faith
At the same time, Egyptian Christian leaders also agree that Christianity is not necessarily the 'answer' that many doubting Muslims want. Currently in Egypt the natural consequence of questioning Islam is an embracing of atheism. No statistics are available but the general observation is that many Muslims become secularists and atheists in response to their disillusionment with their religion.
Revival vs. Survival
Another concern amongst the leaders interviewed is the fact that Muslims who do embrace Christianity currently face countless challenges. "When I hear statistics of hundreds or thousands of Muslims coming to know Christ, I want to cry," one leader said. "Not tears of joy but tears of frustration. First of all, based on what we see on a daily basis, the numbers are exaggerated. But even more important is the fact that those who share the statistics of revival seldom care for those who struggle for survival. Who takes care of them, who shelters them when their families kick them out? I am currently caring for three young girls who accepted Christ and they are barely surviving."
To read the rest of this important report, please go here. This is a reputable and integrious ministry that does outstanding global work - a team member wrote this article