In the early hours of last Thursday morning, 12th May, the tent where a Christian church just north of Minya, Egypt, had been forced to meet for the past year was set on fire by a group of extremists, leaving it completely destroyed.
The church had been using the tent for its regular church services, functions and celebrations after the local authority sealed off their church building after a series of protests and riots by local Muslims.
While Egyptian Muslims only need permission from the local council to build a mosque, under a law dating back to the Ottoman Empire, Christians can only build a church with the approval of the head of state after first obtaining the approval of the local Muslim community.
As a consequence, it is extremely difficult for Egyptian Christians to get permission to build churches.
In January 2016, President al-Sisi promised to restore all the churches that were destroyed in the 2013 riots that followed the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government.
According to Barnabas Fund, this restoration has already begun. A court in Alexandria recently blocked the demolition of a church and established a wider legal precedent effectively banning other churches from being destroyed or converted for other uses.
- Pray for Egyptian Christians as they face ongoing opposition, threats and persecution from the majority Muslim communities. Pray for their protection and for the freedom to meet together to worship without fear or harassment.
- Pray that the government will continue to restore damaged churches and put in place measures to protect Christians communities across Egypt.
- Pray for Egypt as it faces a growing threat to security from ISIL. Pray for peace in the streets and homes of this nation.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to move across this land, to cause many to encounter the living Christ Jesus in life changing ways and to turn to have faith in the Christ and His gospel of truth.
Job 11 vs 18: “And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety.”