One hand: just a motto or a real possibility?
Christian-Muslim relations in Egypt are a constant source of debate. Sensationalised media reporting around incidents has done enormous damage to the perceptions of outsiders about the state of relations. There is no doubt that there are growing tensions, discrimination is rampant, and the divide between Egyptians who are Christians and Egyptians who are Muslims is increasing. The hopes that were ignited by the revolution seem to have faded. Conversations that saw Muslims and Christians talk together about how they could live side by side for the good of the nation, seem to be just a distant memory.
One hand was a motto born out of the revolution. It was symbolised by the cross and the Qur’an being held aloft together as Egyptians for differing religious, social, educational, political and other backgrounds, stood together for what they saw as the greater good of the nation; freedom for all to live whole lives expressing faith as they choose. Events that have followed, with what some see as the rise of a more strident religious voice calling for Islam to govern all of life, raise questions about ‘One hand’, however there are flickers of light that sometimes are seen in the darkness.
A short documentary has recently been produced describing the rays of hope that exist as Christians and Muslims reach out to each other. It is a 45 minute documentary that you can watch here:
As we pray for Egypt, seek God for reconciliation that flows from the cross, for breaking down the barriers built on fear, for God’s people to be filled with sacrificial love for their neighbors, and for those who are leading initiatives of healing in the nation.