Today, we received the following update from Middle East Reformed Fellowship:
Dear Christian Brothers and Sister,
Security concerns have kept MERF’s ministry center in Cairo, Egypt closed for three days. So far, no staff or ministry partners have been physically hurt. Christians are especially targeted by Islamists because they are unarmed and cannot fight back. Yet, the international media has given little attention to the dangers facing Christian communities in Egypt.
About 38 people of Christian background lost their lives (including two police officers) and over 200 were injured by the Islamists attacks on police centers, homes, businesses and churches. At least 64 churches were attacked, including 8 evangelical buildings. This was mostly in Upper Egypt, where there are significant numbers of Christians. Some were completely burned down. Over 400 hundred businesses and shops and many more Christian homes have been attacked, burglarized and/or burned. In the city of Malawi (central Egypt), Christian families have been forced from their homes taken over by Islamists from other cities.
The interim government pledged to rebuild all destroyed churches. Egyptian Church leaders made public statements calling Christians to be forgiving and to trust only in the Lord’s protection and not seek or expect any help from Western or other nations. Prayer chains have been established throughout the country.
There is special concern over the well-being of Muslim converts, pastors and others discipling secret seekers. Under Morsi’s one year presidency, information was gathered on some that might have come into the hands of Islamic militias.
A famous Egyptian TV journalist, Youssif Al_Housainy, a nominal Muslim, has been quoting regularly from the Sermon on the Mount on his weekly show. This week, in the light of the attacks on Christians and churches, he quoted Matthew 5:11-12, commenting:
“Islamists are told that they are blessed if they die killing their enemies and fighting for their cause, yet the heavenly message of Christ is that the oppressed and persecuted are the ones who receive abiding eternal rewards!”
MERF’s Arabic gospel broadcast and literature production continues in both Egypt and Lebanon. Several Egyptian staff are able to work from home. We thank the Lord for these and other MERF ministries in His plan to call out His people from among Muslims in Egypt and elsewhere. He seems to be preparing many hearts for the Gospel of God’s grace and peace in Christ.
Join us in earnest prayer for the safety of God’s people in Egypt and Syria and for continued fruitful Gospel ministry.
Please share this message with churches, families and friends.
With gratitude for your partnership in missions to Arab and Muslim peoples,
Middle East Reformed Fellowship
Friends and partners, join us in praying for our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt.
“We pray for all Your children who suffer persecution for the sake of Your Name and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Comfort them with Your Holy Spirit and deliver them from the hands of their enemies. Do not permit the memory of Your Name to be removed from the earth. Do not let the enemies of Your truth have occasion to dishonor and blaspheme Your Name. But if it is Your will that persecuted Christians by their death bear witness to the truth and glorify Your Name, comfort them in their sufferings. May they accept their trials as from Your fatherly hand and remain faithful in life and death to the honor of Your Name, to the edification of the church…” – A Prayer for All the Needs of Christendom
* All pictures are from Sat7.