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Posts tagged ‘Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria’

Many Egyptians Turning to Christ Despite Violence, Persecution.


Egypt damaged church
A Coptic Orthodox leader prays with residents at the burned and damaged Evangelical Church in Minya governorate, about 152 miles south of Cairo. (Reuters/Louafi Larbi )

Pro-Islamist President Mohammed Morsi supporters took to the streets over the weekend. Thousands took part in the protests in Alexandria, Suez and other cities calling for Morsi to be reinstated and urging military leader General Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi to step aside.

According to an I.N. Network worker we’ll call David, these protests put his family at risk. David says protesters surrounded his home for 50 days a few months ago.

“They consider the area as a holy place, and they try to come back to the area again and again,” he says. “So the police and the army surround the area. Every Friday there is a big group of the Muslim Brotherhood. They try to come back, and they fight with the army and police.”

While David and his family have had to leave their home for a time, they are safe.

Since the Muslim Brotherhood took power, Christians have been the targets of violence. Once the government was sacked, Christians had hoped that would change. But, David says, it hasn’t.

“They are still creating troubles and problems,” he says. “The last two months, they’ve gotten very crazy. They want to destroy the country. They attack many churches. More than 80 churches have been burned. Many Christians have been killed.”

David says that’s why the I.N. Network has established an emergency fund to help survivors of the violence.

“Winter is approaching in Egypt,” he says. “And many families—especially in the south—don’t have enough clothes. They need blankets, so we’re doing a project to distribute blankets.”

While the violence has been difficult, David says there is good news.

“Churches are united together. And the spirit of prayer is happening in all the churches. People are praying all the time,” he says.

The response to the violence against burned churches has also been remarkable. Christians posted signs on their burned-out churches that read, “You burned our church, but we love you.”

David says ,”It’s a great message of forgiveness. This makes many Muslims discover the reality of Christianity, and many of them come to know Jesus.”

While Muslims are turning, that’s creating another problem.

“Until now, they find difficulty for security reasons to join local churches, so they meet underground in a secret way,” David says. “They worship the Lord together, and they’re growing.”

As Muslims come to Christ, they’re uniquely qualified to share the gospel. “The easiest way to reach Muslims is through converted Muslims,” David says.

While David isn’t praying for more persecution, he’s excited about the Holy Spirit working.

“It’s always like this,” he says. “When there is pressure over the churches, the Holy Spirit is working, and many people are coming to know Jesus as Savior.”

This article originally appeared on mnnonline.org.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

MISSION NETWORK NEWS

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Insurgency Against Christians Underway in Egypt.


 

Egypt
Relatives mourn during the funeral for four victims killed in an attack at a wedding on Sunday, at Virgin Church in Cairo on Monday. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany )

More unrest and violence in Egypt this weekend suggests an Islamist-led insurgency against Christians and the government may now be underway.

An Islamist gunman riding on a motorcycle fired 15 shots at members of a wedding party as they left a Cairo church Sunday.

“Everyone knows that every Sunday there is a wedding in the church,” a witness said. “There was a lot of traffic outside the church when a motorbike and a car approached the crowd outside the church. The car stopped and the gunman on the motorcycle started shooting and ran away.”

The attack killed four people, including 8-year-old Nermien, who was excited about wearing her new dress and boots to the wedding.

“What is happening is targeting all of Egypt and not only the Christians. This is enough, people are getting sick and tired of this,” Father Dawoud, a priest from Virgin Mary Coptic Church, said.

Meanwhile, on Saturday northwest of Cairo in Islamiya, members of a jihadist group that calls itself “Supporters of the Mahdi” claimed responsibility for a car bombing outside a military intelligence.

The group warned Egyptians to avoid military and police buildings, saying they are “legitimate targets for the Mujahadeen.”

The Islamiya bombing and other similar attacks in the Sinai indicate Egypt may be facing the start of an insurgency.

The supporters of the Mahdi accuse Egyptian intelligence services and the military of waging war on Egyptians, which they claim only benefits the enemies of the nation—Jews and Christians.

Militant Islamists blame Christians and the military for the uprising last July that ended Mohammed Morsi‘s presidency and led to a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood.

And it doesn’t look like attacks against Christians, the military, and police will end anytime soon. At Cairo’s Al Azar University Sunday, pro-Morsi student rioters opposed police.

It was another weekend of political unrest, suggesting Egyptians are likely to face more violence and instability in the days ahead.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Egyptian Christian Leader: ‘Enemy’ at Work Again in Wedding Party Attack.


 

Coptic Christians
Coptic Christians pray during a Coptic Orthodox Easter mass at the main cathedral in Cairo May 4. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih)

Editor’s Note: The following is the reaction of an Egyptian Christian leader to the attack and killing of several Christians attending a wedding at a Coptic church in Cairo on Sunday.

The “enemy” is shooting at us; Egyptian Christians are facing what seems to be painful and exhausting spiritual warfare. The tactics of the devil vary in nature and shape, but the outcome is the same; to break down the church and steal her testimony and peace granted by the loving Father. An awful incident took place Sunday that manifests this fact.

Last night there was a happy wedding of a young couple who had waited for the day to come when they could finally stand together, facing the altar of the Orthodox church of Virgin Mary, to exchange vows and rings for a lifelong happy marriage. Friends, neighbors and family attended in their best clothes and biggest smiles. Hugs and kisses were exchanged between family members who had not seen each other for a long time. The Church of Virgin Mary where the wedding service took place is located northwest of the capital in one of Cairo’s problematic and overpopulated districts.

The wedding was over and the couple was announced as husband and wife. They walked down the aisle to the outside entrance of the church, where bouquets of flowers were set outside the church entrance for guests to greet the happily married couple before they went home.

As soon as the bride and groom were outside the church, two masked attackers drove fast by the church and opened fire on the crowd. At least three women were instantly killed and 17 other guests where severely injured and rushed to nearby hospitals; some of them are lying in critical conditions. Fortunately, the newlyweds survived the attack. They were left alone, standing among shattered flower bouquets, pieces of broken window glass and the hysterical wedding guests.

Egypt‘s large Christian population, estimated at 10 million, was shocked with the news; a happy wedding was converted into sad and devastating funerals in just a few seconds.

Please pray for Egypt!

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

OPEN DOORS USA

Egypt Prime Minister Condemns Deadly Coptic Christians Attack.


Image: Egypt Prime Minister Condemns Deadly Coptic Christians Attack

Egyptians gather at a Coptic Christian church in the Waraa neighborhood of Cairo on Oct. 20 after gunmen on motorcycles opened fire, killing three people and wounding several others.

By Newsmax Wires

CAIRO — Egypt’s interim prime minister Monday condemned an attack outside a Cairo Coptic church that killed three people, including an 8-year-old girl, pledging police would do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a statement that the attack on Sunday night was a “callous and criminal act.”

He says such attacks will “not succeed in sowing divisions between the nation’s Muslims and Christians.”

The attack took place in the Waraa neighborhood of the Egyptian capital, when masked gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a wedding party outside a Coptic church, killing a man, a woman, and the child.

A Coptic priest at the wedding told Reuters he was inside the church when gunfire broke out. Thomas Daoud Ibrahim said he rushed outside to find a dead man, a dead woman, and “many injured.”Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, and have generally coexisted peacefully with majority Sunni Muslims for centuries, despite bouts of sectarian tension.

But the army’s overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi on July 3 has been followed by the worst attacks on churches and Christian properties in years.

The immediate trigger for the attacks was a bloody security crackdown in Cairo on Aug. 14, when police dispersed two Islamist protest camps set up to demand the reinstatement of Morsi, and killed hundreds of his supporters.© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Islamists to Egyptian Christians: ‘Convert, Go Broke or Die’.


Egyptian Christians
Egyptian Christians stand amid destruction caused by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. (Open Doors)

Egypt is still upside-down and sideways.

Nearly a month after a state of emergency was declared, the interim government has extended the order by two months.

This action gives security forces greater powers of arrest. In mid-August, authorities and protestors clashed violently over the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. That led to a backlash of violence that claimed nearly 1,000 lives in the days that followed, with Christians targeted as the scapegoat.

Open Doors CEO David Curry says, “Some of these extremist groups think that Christianity itself—the very existence of it—is problematic, so they’re trying to snuff it out. So there’s a confluence of events, which is making it very, very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus in Egypt.”

Ever since the state of emergency was declared, a nighttime curfew has also been in effect in much of the country. With that in place, how did Islamists manage the takeover of a Christian village in the south? Police can’t be everywhere and can’t protect everyone, Curry says. The lack of protection is especially dangerous for the residents in Dalga, which was taken over by hardliners a couple of weeks ago.

“There are about 20,000 believers that have an enclave there [in Dalga], and they gather together and they go to church. They want to worship in freedom,” Curry says.

What’s more, since the siege began, word has leaked that the Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the Christians recant, pay a “jizya” or suffer the consequences.

“They’re literally being taxed until and unless they convert to Islam,” Curry says. “So there’s a tax levied. If you don’t pay the tax, you’re going to be attacked, you’re going to be punished, and your property is going to be attacked.”

The “jizya” is a kind of tax that Islamic law requires religious minorities to pay Muslims. The amounts demanded are ruinous.

“We’re talking about real money in terms of the Egyptian lifestyle,” Curry says. “It may be that a person is made to choose between holding on to their faith and being martyred for their faith.”

Already, Muslims in southern Egypt have killed two Christian men for failing to pay the tax. Voice of the Martyrs reports that a Muslim man demanded a Christian in a village in Assiut pay him nearly $1,500. Muslims have also forced at least 140 Coptic Christians to pay 200 Egyptian pounds daily (US $30). When you consider that roughly 40 percent of Egyptians live on less than $2 a day, there aren’t many who can remain in their hometowns safely. Forty Coptic Christian families have left as a result of the tax.

Still, Curry says there have been reports of people coming to Christ.

“The Christian faith is vibrant, and it’s going to find its fruition because people are seeking answers, and they’re not looking for political answers,” he says.

Additionally, followers of Christ have something that piques curiosity in times like these.

“When people are introduced to Jesus, there’s peace,” Curry says. “There’s life there. That’s what we want for them. Certainly, there are still great things happening even in the midst of this difficulty and in this persecution.”

Open Doors’ partners are careful when they respond to needs in the area.

“Open Doors is asking everybody to pray for Egypt, to support the believers there. We’re on the ground trying to help these churches. We’re rebuilding churches. We’re trying to help pastors,” Curry says.

This article originally appeared on mnnonline.org.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

MISSION NETWORK NEWS

Egyptian Youth Pray in Church Muslims Attacked Amid Growing Violence.


Western Media Ignores Christian Church Burnings In Egypt By Muslim Brotherhood.


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In the familiar pattern, the Western media are focused on the military raids against Islamic supremacists in Egypt but ignoring the latter’s use of violence and of women and children as human shields. After all, the “protesters” say they are “peaceful.”

When not similarly ignored, Islamic supremacist aggression against Egypt’s Christians — which was a prominent feature of Muslim Brotherhood governance — is disingenuously reported. Take this AFP report of the fact that the Brotherhood and its allies are torching Coptic churches. The AFP endeavors to exculpate the Islamic supremacists by editorializing, in the report, that these were “reprisal” attacks. But the Brotherhood was not ousted by the minority Copts. To be sure, the Copts far prefer to take their chances with a largely secular, technocratic government backed by the armed forces than the rampant persecution they endured while the Brotherhood was running the show. But it is the army, not the Copts, who ejected Morsi. AFP tries to obscure this by recounting that “the Coptic church backed Morsi’s removal, with Patriarch [i.e., Pope] Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup.” As I observed in writing about the coup in the August 5 edition of National Review, however, Pope Tawadros was hardly alone — General Sisi also gathered by his side significant Islamic supremacist leaders: Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayeb of al-Azhar University and leaders of the Salafist al-Nour party (in addition to prominent secularists).

The Brotherhood is not “retaliating” against Christians. Islamic supremacists are persecuting Christians . . . which is what they do in Muslim-majority countriessource – NRO.

by NTEB News Desk

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