Egypt is by far the largest and most dominant country in North Africa. It is very influential throughout the Muslim world. Every day there is more and more evidence of the increasing power of those who would establish sharia as the law of the land. Though Christians have suffered economic and educational persecution for many years, a constitution mandating Islamic law would put them in serious jeopardy. Sharia would also be a huge setback for the rights and privileges of all Egyptians, especially women, dictating their dress, movement and activities.
Sunday night while travelling in West Africa, I received the following report from Egyptian missionaries helped by Christian Aid. They cannot be named for their protection..
We would like to share new updates with you.
Yesterday, there was a big stand for the brotherhoods all over Egypt just to declare that they are with the new president's decisions. Mobs were chanting, "We want Islam," and they want to enforce the Sharia. One of them said, "It is our country, and those who do not like our law or decisions should leave." He then led the crowd to insult badly those who oppose Sharia, singling out and threatening Christians though they were not present.
Today after the morning service in one of the churches, the mob began hurling insults, then attacked a couple. One of the rioters stabbed the woman and killed her. The man was able to flee from death after being beaten. You can see the violent nature of these radical Islamist demonstrations on the TV. Rapes and beatings are common.
After such attacks, it is the victims that are arrested if they are Christian (or in the case of sexual attack, women), so his rescuers saved him from prison by telling officials that he is crazy.
We don't know if this is related to the government protests or if it is just against Christians as we are getting used to. Some think it is to make Christians afraid to share in the protests, but in reality, very few of the protestors are Christians. Most all are secularists who do not want the horror and restrictions of the Sharia.
Today also the radical brotherhoods and their mobs hindered the Judges from entering the High Court for not declaring that they agree with the Sharia. And the police didn't do anything.
Please pray for us as things are getting worse and worse day after day. Next Tuesday there will be a general civil strike in all fields. Even newspapers will not be produced this day. TV channels will put a black screen. On Wednesday, there will be another large protest against the Sharia constitution and other recent decisions. There is widespread talk of continuing the revolution for democracy. Some have even declared they will not be satisfied unless they get rid of that president like they did before.
We continue our work of discipleship and neighbourhood evangelism, and we are so grateful for all your prayer and financial support in these dangerous times. It is keeping us alive. Please relay our thanks to all who are helping us.