Scriptural references regarding Egypt can seem a bit contradictory as most refer to Egypt in negative terms, alluding to bondage and idolatry, while others foretell a national revival and times of restoration. Egypt is also mentioned more times in scripture than any other nation, second only to Israel who also was warned of impending judgment while promised national, spiritual restoration.
In fact, in Isaiah 19 God refers to Egypt as “My people” and Israel “My inheritance.” Therefore, current events in Egypt need to be considered in light of these scriptures and hearts need to be moved to a place of prayer for those whom God called His people.
THE LARGEST DEMONSTRATIONS IN HISTORY
In 2011, when the so called “Arab Spring” began, the world followed closely as Egypt’s young people began a peaceful, non-violent protest resulting in the fall of the Mubarak regime. The demonstrators were seeking progress, jobs, and opportunity as found in western countries.
Unfortunately, the opposition was not politically organized and, when it came time for elections, the only party that could step into the void and win the elections was the Muslim Brotherhood. One year later, the people of Egypt realized that President Morsi was a far worse dictator than Mubarak had been. Islamist ideology was guiding the country and the government was going bankrupt with no way to import bread and food. A country of 80 million was about to descend into chaos.
The opposition was able to collect the signatures of an astounding 20 million people calling for the removal of President Morsi and then organized a public demonstration of upwards to 30 million people. The military, led by General Sisi who had been appointed by President Morsi himself, responded to the people’s demands by removing President Morsi from power.
While clueless western leaders, including some U.S. officials, denounced it as a military coup, General Sisi appointed civilian Adly Mansour, a Supreme Constitutional Court Justice, as Interim President and respected economist, Dr. Hazem Beblawi as Prime Minister. He then asked the people to come back onto the streets to show America and the West their support for a military crackdown on the terror and crime that was plaguing Egypt at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and various jihadist factions.
THE CRY OF THE PEOPLE
It is estimated that as many as 40 million people, the largest demonstration in history, may have come onto the streets then to show their support for the military’s actions.
And yet, some US officials are threatening to cut off aid to Egypt if they do not release the Muslim Brotherhood from jail and bring the party back into the government. President Obama suspended shipment of four F-16s last month and Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have threatened to cut-off financial aid as well.
One cannot begin to describe the disappointment and confusion felt by the people of Egypt. Egypt is a key American ally now turning to Russia and China for help when another ally, Israel, desperately needs a stable, pro-American Egypt for her own security.
Moreover, current events in Egypt signify a large scale rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood’s strict version of Islam and one can only wonder how many may in fact reject the religion altogether. A wave of Egyptians have been converting to Christianity in recent years, so the people’s heartfelt cry for help could be the beginning of a revival so huge it could sweep across the entire Arab world. Egypt needs our prayers at this critical time!
CHRISTIANS OF EGYPT
Roughly ten percent of Egyptians are Christian. They are now being used as scape goats and are accused of conspiring with the “Zionists” to bring about the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, their churches are being burned – some 60 in one week - and the black flag of Al-Qaeda has victoriously been flown over several of them.
Until the west stops pressuring the interim government, and allows them to gain control of the gangs of Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers in the streets, the Christians will continue to suffer and greatly need our immediate prayers.
The situation in Egypt has exposed the decline in western journalism in general and US media in particular. Due to budget cuts many news outlets no longer have many journalists in the field. Therefore, they rely on one of a handful of news wires. In the case of Egypt, Al-Jazeera became a trusted source due to their 24/7 coverage of the 2011 protests and the fall of Mubarak.
The difference this time around is that Al-Jazeera, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood news channel, was covering the fall of a Muslim Brotherhood government. Video footage and reports were skewed in favor of the ousted President and this misinformation was repeated by western outlets as fact on several occasions. Al-Jazeera’s coverage was so biased, however, that some 20 journalists have now quit in protest.
The Middle East is very complicated and the Christian world cannot afford to be at the mercy of ill-informed media monopolies when our informed prayers and activism are so desperately needed by both Egypt, “My people,” and Israel, “My inheritance.”
Susan Michael is the director of the US Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem