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November 2014 News

Out of Egypt

  • Written by  Elissa Dowling
Egyptian Christians worship in a burnt-out church Photo: Provided

A young Egyptian man steps carefully through the ruins of what was once a beautiful cathedral. Silently, he picks a piece a black charcoal lying amongst the charred remains of his church and writes three simple words on a broken wall. “Forgive your enemies”.

This is just one of many stories of love and forgiveness shared by Cairo based Pastor Michael* at the Open Doors “Out of Egypt” tour in Toowoomba recently.

Speaking at Rangeville Community Church, Pastor Michael said this attitude of grace had been a powerful testimony to the predominantly Muslim population.

“We realised our fight is not with people. The Muslim Brotherhood is not our enemy. We pray for them. We seek their salvation,” he said.

However, Pastor Michael said he had not come to share only the pain of the church in Egypt, but also its victories.

“God is alive, so here is every reason for victory.”

The Egyptian church is the largest in the Arab speaking world, with an estimated 11-12 million Christians.

Four years ago, with the rise of the Arab Spring, Pastor Michael said the church had unprecedented opportunities to be amongst their Muslim brothers, including a public service in Cairo.

However, their prayers for freedom and change took a turn for the worse with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the burning and destructions of thousands of churches, businesses and homes.

The rise in persecution led to a surprising outcome, uniting Chrisitans from all different denominations.

Catholics, evangelicals and orthodox gathered for prayer and worship, culminating in a 12 hour meeting of 25,000 Christians.

“What people thought was evil, God has used for good,” Pastor Michael said.

“We had a golden time to show our love and faith...it has bombarded the minds of the Muslim countries.”

For more information or to support the work of Open Doors amongst persecuted Christians visit www.opendoors.org.au.

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