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Survivors

Egyptian Christians recount the upheaval now behind them and consider the future before their country

By Jamie Dean

2/25/2011 Egypt (World Magazine) – Every morning for 18 days, Egyptian Sylvia Zaki prayed the words of Psalm 91 like her life depended on it. In many ways, it did.

From her home in downtown Cairo, near the outskirts of Tahrir Square, the 37-year-old evangelical Christian could smell the wafting tear gas and hear the thundering sounds of Egypt’s revolution: chanting crowds, gunfire, tanks, helicopters, and F-16 fighters overhead.

The psalmist’s words resonated: “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day . . . nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Zaki prayed as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians massed in Cairo and cities across the country for nearly three weeks, demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years of ironclad rule. A week after Mubarak’s Feb. 11 resignation, Zaki reflected on the experience. “There were times when I feared that I wouldn’t live any kind of normal life again, but I thank God for the blessing of forgetfulness,” she said. “We forget the fear and remember God’s protection, so we can go on.”

Some Egyptian Christians are hopeful for a secular government that would allow greater freedoms after decades of harassment. Others fear the rise of an Islamic government that could make life even harder. But they agree on this: No matter what the future holds, Christians should speak up now.

[Full Story]