Published: 14:10 GMT Standard Time - Thursday 03 February 2011
Christians in danger as Egyptian security breaks down
Help Barnabas help them with food and humanitarian assistance
“When will they come to kill us, Daddy?”
Children of a Christian leader in Egypt
As Egypt’s security forces struggle to contain increasingly violent clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters, the country’s Christian community is under growing threat.
Two Christian families were massacred by Islamists, who are said by a senior church leader to have taken advantage of the prevailing mayhem and lack of police protection to commit their crime. Eleven Christians including four children were killed, with four others seriously injured, in the attack in Minya Province, Upper Egypt, on Sunday. Fearing for their safety, other Christian families have fled mainly Muslim villages in the region.
Christians elsewhere are taking measures to protect themselves and their families. A Barnabas Fund contact in Egypt said that some are sleeping inside churches, which are being guarded by their ministers and young people, and Christian widows have moved to live with families where there is a man in the house to protect them.
As well as fearing for their safety, many Christians are struggling to buy food as resources grow scarce and prices soar.
|A scene of protest from the recent unrest in Egypt
IMG SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-2.0
Barnabas Fund today received an as yet unconfirmed report that there has been an attack by released prisoners on a Christian monastery. A week-long Internet blackout, which has now been lifted, has restricted reporting.
Until now, there had been no reports of church buildings being attacked, and this was said to have bolstered the Christians’ faith that the Lord is protecting them.
Christians are very concerned about the present instability, and fear that it may degenerate into a situation of complete lawlessness, in which they would be extremely vulnerable to attack.
Fears of Islamist take-over
As demands for President Mubarak to go immediately become increasingly hostile, the position of Christians is ever more precarious. Concerned at the possibility of an Islamist take-over, most Christians want him to stay until a safe, democratic transfer of authority can be secured.
Though this is not a religious revolution, Muslim fundamentalists are riding the anti-Mubarak tide for their own cause. There are reports that, in a bid to boost the campaign against the president, they are giving out much-needed resources, including food, money and blankets, to persuade people to join the protests.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said: “It is clear that there is a direct relationship between the breakdown of security in Egypt and the increased vulnerability of Christians. They have limited human protection. We must pray that the Good Shepherd will watch over His people in Egypt.”
Barnabas Fund is directing food and humanitarian assistance to Egyptian Christians in greatest need at this time of crisis, especially those whose livelihoods have been destroyed. Please support our brothers and sisters in their time of need.
Please donate to project 11-220 (Feeding needy Christian families in Egypt).
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 11-220 (Feeding needy Christian families in Egypt).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/220 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- For a quick return to stability in Egypt and that there will be a non-violent solution to the political turmoil. Pray that radical Islamists will not be able to capitalise on the crisis to seize power.
- For those who mourn the two Christian families killed in Minya Province, that they will know the Lord’s comfort and peace.
- For the protection of Egyptian Christians and their property. Pray that their faith will continue to be strengthened by answers to prayer.