A Coptic Christian teacher in Egypt is trying to unite Christian and Muslim students by teaching them about both religions side by side.
According to the Independent, Ayaad, from a village outside the city of Minya in northern Egypt, has been teaching the Bible and the Quran for more than 50 years as he believes “we are all one”.
This region of Egypt has frequently been the scene of violent outbreaks against Christians, who face routine discrimination and violence from the Muslim majority population.
However, Ayaad says he wants to bring the children together.
“I have more than 120 children in my class: 70 to 80 Muslims, and 30 to 40 Christians. We have been living here in love,” he told BBC Arabic.
“I get paid about a dollar, but I’d rather be paid a dollar with love than $100 with anger. The school teachers and families approve. I used to teach them all years ago with no objection.”
Reflecting on the rising levels of tension in the area, he said: “Sectarian tension is an evil thing that’s popped up. We never used to label each other Muslim or Christian. We are all one and there is no difference.”
In May, a 300-strong mob torched Christian houses and stripped a 70-year-old woman naked as she was dragged along the street. It followed allegations that a Christian man, thought to be the woman’s son, and a Muslim woman were involved in an relationship.
Christians have accused Muslims of abducting girls from their communities and church buildings have been attacked, and a priest was killed after being attacked with sticks and knives in the Minya province in July.
- Pray for Ayaad, as he seeks to teach reconciliation and peace to the children in his school. Pray that, through his teaching, many Muslim children will come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the risen Son of God.
- Pray for this region of Egypt, that as the children learn to respect each other’s faith, so the adults will seek reconciliation ad an end to the violence against Christians.
- Pray for protection for Christians in Egypt, especially with the rise of fundamentalist Islam.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit over Egypt, that many will encounter Jesus and come to life transforming faith in Him.
Romans 1 vs 16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith”