Associate Minister's February Letter

A Year of Arab Spring

 

It is a year now since the Arab Spring began in Tunisia with the fleeing of the president on January 14th 2011. Protests against authoritarian rule spread to nearly all the Arabic speaking countries of the Middle East and North Africa.  One piece of good news is that Coptic Christians in Egypt celebrated Christmas on January 6th with no violence.  In fact according to the Church Times The Muslim Brotherhood set up committees “to protect the churches so that the hands of sin do not ruin the festivities like they did several times under the old regime.”

 

Egypt has a sizable minority made up of Coptic, Catholic and Evangelical Christians.  For centuries these groups have been deeply divided but now with the Arab Spring there has been an amazing coming together in prayer and unity.  For example on 11th November last year in Cairo 50,000 people from all Christian backgrounds gathered for an all-night prayer meeting.  They are setting aside denominational differences to work together, strengthen one another and pray for the future of their country.

 

According to a Christian Worker in Egypt there are increased numbers of Muslims  seeking to know more about Jesus.  Many are watching Christian TV programmes broadcast by satellite and going on Christian websites.

 

So many people of the Middle East long for freedom combined with responsibility, justice combined with mercy and truth combined with trust - values fundamental to the teachings of Christ.

 

It will continue to be tough for Christians in Egypt but with God’s power at work the Church can be an inspiration for the whole nation and for us in the West.  Let us pray for our Egyptian brothers and sisters and all the peoples of the Middle East that somehow good will come and the name of Jesus will be honoured.

 

Christopher Cant


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