Egypt

6 05 2019

Geography: Mostly desert. Only 3% is arable land. This is along the banks of the delta of the Nile River, and around the Western Desert oases.

Population: 98 million.

People: 92% Arab.

Produce: Agriculture, natural gas, oil, textiles, tourism, (& Suez Canal dues!).

Politics: Relative stability under President Mubarak. In 2006 the Muslim Brotherhood gained 20% of the elected parliament seats. They ran as independents, since religious parties were banned from running. …Many Egyptians are disillusioned with the political process.

Religion: “Islam is the State Religion; until recently the large Christian minority were left in relative peace. The last – 20 years (2020) – however, have seen higher levels of communal  violence. The rise of Islamism caused Islamist violence” (Operation World).

Christians 12.8% .     Muslim 86.67% .       Non religious 0.5%

History in Review: It is sobering to recall that for over 1,000 years Egypt was a majority-Christian country, even after the Arab Muslim conquest in AD640. Egypt gave to the world some of its greatest theologians and the monastic movement.

                         

Prayer Points:  

  1. For the recognition of the Church’s history in Egypt over the past 2000 years.
  2. That the Scriptures will be read, as so many have been strategically distributed by the Bible Society.
  3. For innovative us of the Media to proclaim the Gospel
  4. For the great prayer movement of recent years to expand and prove to be a huge blessing for the nation.
  5. For God’s blessing upon the Coptic Church, by far the largest body of Christians in the middle east, and a key for the proclamation of the gospel in this nation.
  6. For the steadfastness of the Christian community. In the last 20 years persecution of Christians has steadily increased. Operation World report that: “Harassment, discrimination on individual and communal levels and financial incentives for Christians to adopt Islam are all used to break the morale of Christians. Some areas, such as Upper Egypt, face more intense pressure than others. In most cases, the attacks that occur are carried out by vigilante Islamists groups – but often with the tacit acceptance of local security forces. Identity cards stating religion can be a huge challenge for believers from Muslim backgrounds, who tend to be on the receiving end of persecution more frequently than Copts. O Lord we pray for Christians who waver, that they may find new courage to hold fast to Christ; and we pray for the Egyptian government to respond to unfairness and attacks and violence, with genuine resolve for the wellbeing of all people – and for them to legislate and act with “an even hand. We give thanks for the many Muslim-background people who are being found by Christ Jesus – that they may work out how best to respond to Jesus, and to love their family, community and nation.
  7. May the people of Egypt come once again, into the great hope of forgiveness, joy and salvation, through knowing the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, in the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit.




The Mystery of Lawlessness

29 01 2011

January, 2011: Egpyt suddenly breaks out in lawlessnesss. The Police can not be seen on the streets. And the army steps in to keep some sort of order. The government is strangely absent for comment. Wow.

Whenever we look at aspects of anarchy and intense political unrest, issuing in some degree of violence, then we are in a good moment to reflect upon the biblical phrase, which says:  “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

Lawlessness, or iniquity, or sin, is certainly a mystery. Why humanity embraces sin, lawlessness, and rebellion, has no good answer. The bible speaks of many mysteries. Mysteries from a biblical standpoint are insights, that become possible to comprehend, only when one thinks from the logic of the cross of Christ. Mysteries,  are only clearly seen, as one knows Jesus Christ, and thinks in him, with thoughts that are Christo-logical.

I for one, am very thankful for the great work of the Police in Australia, and around the world, where stable government is working reasonably well.

The creation, and humanity generally, responds well to good authority. It is a great blessing to society, and to living with others in community life. It means that safety can be a reasonable expectation for a society.

I find it extremely difficult to view creation, as lacking an authority framework within it, to function. And the order and rule of human behaviour, somehow needs good authority.

The Lord is King – of all creation. Thank heavens for that! And as he exercises Lordship over rebellious elements of creation, including human creatures, and celestial ones, we have a blessed pattern in which to find our bearings, and to know what we too, should do,

May you be blessed in doing your part, especially as it pertains to the restraint of lawlessness. May we know the power of Jesus Christ’s Risen Lordship over nations – leading them to find real life, through Christ.

It would be a frightening world, were there no restraint upon ‘lawlessness’.  May we anicipate good things, as we give attention and careful thought to such matters as true law, and true government, for the benefit of others!

In many countries, governments have failed to constrain evil satisfactorily. Whenever society has capitulated to the powers of evil, to angry violent human beings, and wherever lawlessness reigns, humanity experiences de-humanization and degradation and shame.

Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of the devil, and that would include lawlessness.  Jesus came to re-humanise humanity. May we who respond to his Lordship, not be afraid to ‘bite the bullett’ and to take the tough decisions needed, so that society can reflect the truth of humanity, living together with one another.








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