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Egyptian Christian’s goal: restrictions lifted on Gospel

ICC Note:

“In these uncertain times, I am sure that God is drawing Egyptians to Himself in Jesus Christ. That is of primary importance, but He is also seeking to give all people a government in which our God-given personhood can excel.”

By Erin Roach

2/14/2011 Egypt (Baptist Press) – The transfer of power in Egypt has the potential to be “even more dramatic than the fall of the Berlin Wall,” a Southern Baptist observer said after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down Feb. 11.

“In these uncertain times, I am sure that God is drawing Egyptians to Himself in Jesus Christ. That is of primary importance, but He is also seeking to give all people a government in which our God-given personhood can excel,” Mike Edens, professor of Islamic studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, told Baptist Press.

“In such environments, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience flourish. Egypt and most of the world has not experienced that. For God to give that gift to Egyptians, an extraordinary period of free discussion by Egyptians of Egyptian concerns, hopes and dreams needs to occur. What has happened in these past days is unique in the Arab and Muslim worlds but it is also rare within the human family.

“This can be an event even more dramatic than the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Edens said. “It is a great time for us to pray for God to be glorified in the course of His choosing in Egypt, to pray for followers of Jesus Christ living in Egypt and among Egyptians to be bold and effective in living out and sharing the Gospel.”

Amid change, Egyptian Christians are asking for prayer. In an e-mail shared with Baptist Press, an Egyptian Christian asked specifically that believers pray for Mubarak to be succeeded by a godly president who cares for the people; for freedom, including freedom of worship; for a democratic government; for a lifting of the oppression and injustice; and for the Arab and Muslim world to experience God moving.

Among the responses were that people were afraid, shocked, distracted and worried about their families.

“If the above described the feelings of believers, you can imagine how bad the feelings of non-believers were,” he wrote. “Then, I asked them to share what they think God was saying to them or what they have learned during the crisis.”

The church people said they repented and wept, focused on who God is, recognized God’s leading, sensed God calling them to be “a watchman for the people,” felt convicted to stop being selfish and encourage those who are afraid, and realized it was time to be silent and let God speak.

“One of the positive things that we gained through these tough days was getting closer with our Muslim neighbors,” the Egyptian Christian wrote. “After the police disappeared and the chaos started, we had to stand together to watch and protect our homes and neighborhoods, and that was the first time after years of tension between Muslims and Christians.

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