Friday, August 16, 2013

Egypt - July 16, 2013

Please pray for the people of Egypt at this time, with escalated violence and killings in the street. See related Huffington news article here (17th August, 2013) and this article, 'Understanding the present situation in Egypt' to consider the broader context.

Many Muslims have been killed as well as the armed forces. According to official reports (mid August), 45 Christian churches have been burned and pelted with rocks and molotov cocktails, and a further 11 church institutions have been burnt and damaged. Read a report here. The patriarch of Egypt's beleagured Coptic Church has cancelled weekly audiences with worshippers for fear they would be targeted by militants loyal to the ousted President Morsi. A coalition of Egyptian human rights groups warned that violence towards the Christian minority was spiralling out of control with authorities unwilling or unable to provide protection.

Please pray that the calm will be restored, that the police and army will work with wisdom and tact, and that churches and mosques alike would be places of refuge and safety. Please pray for the people of Egypt, for grieving families, for those who are frightened by the violence that has taken place. 

Sr Joanna
Daughters of St Mary community
Please pray also for Sister Joanna and her community - the Coptic Orthodox community, Daughters of St Mary, a member association of DIAKONIA World Federation. According to one report (link above),The Nuns School and St George School have been damanged in Beni Suef.

Pray for the sisters that even in the midst of chaos, confusion and fear, they would show compassion and courage, uplifted by the certain knowledge that God is with them and blessing them in their ministry, and that peace and reconciliation are at the heart of the reign of God. 

The WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has called for prayers for healing, justice and peace for all Egyptians. In an official letter to the WCC member churches in Egypt, he wrote: “The only way forward is for mutual recognition as equal citizens within Egypt, sharing responsibilities and authority, accepting the diversity of political opinions and religious beliefs. The World Council of Churches and its member churches are greatly concerned by the violent turn of events in Egypt and call for an immediate end of violence from all sides". He went on to say the people of Egypt have been going through a difficult moment in history since the political developments in 2011. However, Tveit added, “The Egyptian people showed on different occasions their belief in a multi-religious and multi-cultural society where all parties join hands in facing the current challenges and building a better future. This affects the whole of Egypt. I hope that this will not be interpreted as a conflict between Christians and Muslims" Offering prayers for all Egyptians, Tveit concluded: “may God grant them comfort, heal their wounds and accompany them on their way to justice and peace.”

You will have your own words to pray, but these familiar words from Numbers might provide a way to uphold our diaconal sisters in prayer:

'The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you, and give you peace' (Numbers 6:24-26)

A thoughtful prayer (and analysis/commentary) can be found here
God, Egypt’s problems are so big, other nations are getting involved. May their help be helpful.
Egypt has enough problems. Give wisdom to her friends to know if they are helping or hurting.But in the end, God, find Egyptian solutions to Egyptian problems. Even if others can come alongside, may this political crisis conclude in greater consensus for all.
Give Egypt peace on her borders, God.
God, give wisdom to the Brotherhood. Help them to hold on to what is right while discovering their wrongs. Grant them the ability to extricate themselves from this crisis, and mould them into that which is good for all of Egypt.
God, give wisdom to the government. Help them to pursue justice transparently and use this historical moment to find a grand solution for Egyptian ideological diversity. Grant them the ability to deftly respond to pressure with necessary political acumen.
God, make both humble. Purge all groups of their power-hungry manipulators, so that those who remain will serve Egypt with a pure heart. Reveal this to the people, and place sovereignty in their hands.
And for all outsiders who wish to help, God, make them honest as well. Allow Egypt to be a domestic mess for as long as necessary while as short as possible. But prevent foreigners from adding complications, God. Stability is greatly needed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Sandy. What a good way to provide up-to-date information throughout the world. Blessings to you.