Christians in Egypt are hoping that the protests in the country will lead to more freedom for them, according to George, a church pastor who partners with Open Doors in Egypt.
“The people are afraid for the future, since this is an extremely critical time. But we trust in God, and we hope and pray for a new Egypt, with democracy and freedom for Christians,” states George.
Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church has called upon Coptic Christians to stay away from the demonstrations and to come together and pray for the country, but many Christians are still involved in the demonstrations.
Pastor George said, “I am in contact with members of my church who have gone into the streets to protest. As Christians we are also part of the Egyptian society and community and we cannot stay away from all of this. It matters to us, too. We are also in the middle of it.”
George just came home from a prayer meeting in the house of a believer.
“We cannot go to the church. In every street is a mosque, where Muslims can go to, but there are fewer churches and most people feel unsafe,” George says.
As a result of the danger of going to churches, Christians are coming together in houses for praying because praying is very important for the church.
“It is very important that we pray at this moment,” says George. “We see that the uproar could lead to a better Egypt and that things could turn out for good, but we do not know yet. So prayer is important.
“We pray for the president (Hasni Mubarak), and we do not understand why he has not withdrawn himself from his post. We pray for him that he will do what is good for Egypt and that he will leave at the right moment. Our meetings are also moments to talk about the situation and open our hearts.
“The situation on the streets is difficult. We hear gunshots and people are killed on the streets. We also are having problems with the provision of our food. The infrastructure in the country is under pressure. It is very scary not knowing how the situation will develop further. Tuesday was an important day as 1 million people were on the street to protest.”
Pastor George also shares that the work of his church in Egypt, in partnership with Open Doors, has come to a standstill.
“Our co-workers and other volunteers cannot go to their ministries or work anymore,” says George. “Road blocks, lack of public transportation and curfew are all hindering this. And even now we have no cash funds anymore to pay for projects or to provide our co-workers with enough money to do their work.
Banks have been already closed for a week and the ATMs are empty. Almost everything in Egypt runs by cash money, and that is finished for almost all Egyptians. That is concerning me, too, for what will people do when they are out of cash for more days? Please pray for Egypt, for the church and the Christians. And for President Mubarak.”
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