People of faith, citizens of their country: Christians in Egypt

When Pope Tawadros stood along General Sisi as he announced the removal of the government of President Morsi in Egypt, many questioned the wisdom of this act. Christians became entangled in the politics of removing an Islamic dominated government, accused by some, on both sides, of acting against the nation and the state. It should be remember that Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Head of Al-Azhar, was also standing there, so this was not a Christian overthrow orchestrated through the army. Was Pope Tawadros wise? There are arguments supporting and opposing his action.

Traditionally the Church has not involved itself in politics in Egypt, often seen as weakly submitting to its continued demise under political and religious pressures. Christians are concerned about the future of their nation, Egypt. There was shrinking space for expressing faith in the public square or society, but then that is so often the story of the book of Acts and the spread of God’s people.

It is true that most Copts are anti-Muslim Brotherhood, but then so are many Egyptians, making this army intervention something supported more widely than just be the Christian community. It is also true that many Christians in Egypt have felt afraid of the growth of the Brotherhood and Islamic influences on their society.

So the question that now challenges them is what role should they place in society and the future of Egypt? This is a question that leaders of the Church in Egypt are wrestling with and helping their people to wrestle with. They need wisdom, anointing, guidance, grace, courage and faith. This calls us to pray with and for God’s people in Egypt as they wrestle with playing a role in the future of their nation.

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