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Prayer: Egypt: Church property attacked

ICC Note:

Middle East Concern reports that a Egyptian Coptic Church in Rafah, near the Gaza Strip border, was attacked on January 29. The incident was clearly an attack against Christians, the report states. Egyptian Christians request our prayers.

2/7/2011 Egypt (Middle East Concern) – We regret to report that on 29th January a Coptic Church was attacked in Rafah, close to the border with the Gaza Strip. The two-storey building contained two worship halls, used by different denominations. Attackers broke in, ransacked the interior and attempted to remove the cross from the top of the building but were unable to do so. They then set the contents on fire. The building suffered extensive damage.

This incident is a clear attack on Christian interests. Elsewhere in Egypt, the absence of the regular police for several days led to numerous incidents of looting and other disorderly conduct. It seems likely that Christians have been among the victims of such behaviour. There have been reports that Christians from two families were killed in one incident although the casualty figures remain unclear and there is no clear indication as to the motivation of the attackers.

There are numerous reports of Christians seeking to assist neighbours. Christian prayers were conducted yesterday (Sunday 6th) in Tahrir Square, Cairo; the public practice of Christianity outside predominently Christian districts is very unusual in Egypt.

Egyptian Christians request our prayers that:

a. The two congregations affected in Rafah will be able to meet for worship, prayer, Bible study and fellowship

b. There will be no sectarian clashes in Egypt at this time

c. Egyptian Christians will remain strong in their faith, clear in their witness and committed to showing the love of Jesus

d. The current process of political change will lead to an improvement in religious freedom for Christians and others.

[Middle East Concern]