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Christians in danger as Egyptian security breaks down

Project(s): 11-220

Country/Region: Egypt

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.

/_images_files/content/article_files/Egypt/201102/4X3-eygpt-riots.jpg
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.”

Please help

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).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference 11-220 (Feeding needy Christian families in Egypt) - Christian Orphans).

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).

Please Pray:
  • 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.
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Daily prayer

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 6 hours ago

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Indians have started going to the polls this week in a general election that is taking place in phases until 12 May. The ruling, secular Congress party is expected to be defeated by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This would be an ominous outcome for the country’s Christian minority. The BJP has given support to extremist groups that attack Christians; states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. It has introduced anti-conversion laws on a state level, and has pledged to introduce national legislation to curb "missionary" activity and end proselytising if elected nationally. Pray for wisdom for Indians as they vote and that the outcome will result in a just government that upholds the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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