Being a Christian is often difficult in Egypt, where a militant strain within the state religion has been on the rise in recent years, but persecution has worsened amid the recent violence.
Members of the Coptic Orthodox Church and other Christian groups account for a relatively small but significant portion of Egypt’s 85 million people. The democracy and human-rights advocacy organization Freedom House reported, “Sectarian bloodshed has increased in recent years, with Christians suffering the brunt of the violence.”
In the wake of the Egyptian military’s removal of Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, supporters of the ousted president have fought back, leaving hundreds dead in the resulting confrontations. News reports indicate that dozens of churches and other Christian institutions have been looted and burned, and several Christian people have lost their lives. The Bible Society of Egypt announced that its bookshops in two cities were destroyed.
As the unrest swirls and threatens to further destabilize this key country in the Middle East, TWR continues blanketing the ancient nation with broadcasts of the Good News – programs such as The Way Companion, Thru the Bible, Words from the Heart and Talmatha, which disciples house-church leaders.
“As a ministry serving the Lord in the Arab world, our role is to speak hope to the people in need,” said the head of the TWR Arabic Ministry, unidentified here for security reasons. “And who needs more hope nowadays than the hurting Egyptians? [They need] hope that helps them rise victoriously above this current plight; hope that their country will be rebuilt on the foundations of true democracy and justice; hope that they will be able to testify and live their faith openly without the fear of death or persecution.”
In addition to the radio broadcasts, Internet radio programming is available at www.arabicprograms.org, and an application for iPhones and iPads can be downloaded at http://goo.gl/2GswX. And even more content can be accessed at TWR360 (www.twr360.org), the ministry's newest media platform, which features Arabic as one of the five launch languages.
By normal standards, the future for Copts and other Egyptian believers holds the promise of only fear and despair, the Arabic Ministry director said, “but God has a different logic – a logic that defies the impossible – a logic that brings with it hope and peace even for a wounded country and a hurting people.”
The director asked for intercessory prayer on Egypt’s behalf:
- That TWR continues to have the opportunity to serve the Lord in Egypt and through it in the Arab world.
- That the Lord will protect TWR’s ministry and partners in Egypt and the Arab region.
- That the Lord will protect the Church (the body of Christ) and give it the strength to stand in faith in the midst of this critical situation it is undergoing and continue to be salt and light so that many can come to Christ.
- That the Lord will give wisdom to the current leadership in Egypt so that God’s sovereign will be done in this beloved country.
- That the bloodshed will cease and no more innocent souls suffer violence and hostility.