In the wake of last week’s fatal train shooting, and a series of Christmas church attacks and the New Year terror bombing, a leading native missionary leader is calling for “a Christian love campaign in Egypt to all people who are not Christians.”
The leader told Christian Aid Africa Director Rae Burnett that “persecution is increasing everywhere” in Egypt and asked Christians overseas to continue to pray, even though the news media is not reporting the increased pressure on Christians in Egypt.
Last week an off-duty policeman boarded a train and went from car to car shooting those he identified as Christians – one man was killed in the attack and four women were wounded.
“We wonder if Christians will continue to be safe riding trains or walking in the streets,” said the Egyptian leader, “but we are happy that God has placed us here, and we believe that He will use this time to bring many souls to Him. We pray that God will touch many hearts with His love, and that the gospel will be known to all Egyptians.”
Christian Aid Mission, based in Charlottesville, Virginia has called for more relief to be sent to survivors after a terror bomb killed 21 worshippers on the steps of an Alexandria church after New Year’s Eve services. Rae Burnett is receiving urgent pleas for help from indigenous leaders as Al Qaeda threatens more violence in Egypt, Nigeria and many other African countries. Christian Aid is collecting emergency funds to help survivors with the relief and outreach efforts.
Over 100 were seriously wounded in the New Year’s Eve car bomb attack. In an email to Christian Aid headquarters, an indigenous mission leader pleaded for more prayer as tensions are running high. “We beg you to pray for our co-workers who help us in that area; pray that there will be no more incidents.”
A special financial relief fund was established last month by Christian Aid after local police attacked a church that the central government had approved for re-construction on November 24. “Some of these victims are the same people we have been helping all along,” said Burnett.
She said the gifts from American Christians will help injured believers who are required to cover their own medical bills at government hospitals and to pay for rebuilding their homes and businesses destroyed during the anti-Christian rioting. Those who have lost family members also have the additional expense of burying their dead.
At last report, of the 130 worshippers who were arrested when local police brutally attacked the Christians in November, there is still no word on the 50 that were imprisoned. Many of those being held captive by the police are women and children who had come to the church to attend a worship service.
Egyptian Christians continue to thank Christian Aid for efforts to call Americans to pray for them. An extensive list of prayer requests is available from the Christian Aid Africa Division.
“We appreciate the love and concern for your brothers and sisters here in Egypt,” said one leader who is distributing emergency humanitarian relief from Christian Aid.
During the attacks on the church construction site, more than 20 people were blinded, five were killed and scores were injured. Over 25 homes in the surrounding Christian neighborhood were burned to the ground.
A presidential decree from the central government had been granted to allow the rebuilding of the church, but local officials and police decided to destroy the new building before it could be used for worship this Christmas. Eye witness reports said the police chanted Islamic war cries as they attacked the Christians and proceeded to demolish the building.
Local Egyptian Christians have asked Christians around the world to pray that:
(1) The Lord would have mercy on us in the current situations and rescue us from the hostility of the police, healing relations between the believers and our non-Christian neighbors who oppose the church reconstruction.
(2) That the Lord will supply our urgent and most important needs and enable believers to carry on a busy schedule of conferences and outreach activities planned for the New Year. Pray for an outreach planned for January and activities at the Cairo International Book Fair, to be held January 26 to February 6, when leaders from the entire Arab world will be gathering in Egypt.
Christian Aid was founded by Bob Finley in 1953 to provide a link to indigenous missionaries. Today, it assists 796 native missions that deploy 80,000 missionary workers among 3000 language groups. It’s website is: www.christianaid.org.
Note: Due to ongoing danger, names and most specific locations must be omitted in this report.