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ICC Note:

Barnabas Aid asks for prayer on behalf of Egyptian Christians who opposed new amendment’s to Egypt’s constitution that were voted on March 19.

4/1/2011 Egypt (Barnabas Aid) – Amendments to Egypt’s constitution that were opposed by Christians were passed by 77 percent of voters in a referendum on March 19.

Christians had hoped that the proposed amendments would include the removal of Article 2, which states, “Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” But this was not one of the nine amendments put forward by the committee – headed by an Islamist judge – tasked with drawing up Egypt’s new constitution. In fact, some vocal Muslim spokesmen have publicly declared that the “yes” vote is a clear indication that the majority of Egyptians want an Islamic state.

The outcome paves the way for parliamentary elections, and these could be held as early as September. The main Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, already has organized networks across the country and can rapidly mobilize candidates, while the pro-democracy groups will not have time to organize themselves for an early election. As a result, the Brotherhood is more likely to succeed at the polls.

This prospect spells danger for Egypt’s Christians. They are already treated as second-class citizens, and it is feared that violent attacks against them would only increase under a more overtly Islamist regime. On March 8, at least 13 people died and more than 140 were injured when Muslims attacked a demonstration by thousands of Christians near Mokattam garbage village. The Christians were protesting against the burning of a church by several thousand Muslims three days earlier and also asking that steps be taken to improve the status and quality of life of Egypt’s Christians.

Pray that Christians will not be disheartened by the referendum results but will continue to trust in the Lord Jesus.

Pray for the future of the Christian community in Egypt; pray that Islamists will not gain a political foothold in the country and so make the conditions for Christians even harder.

Pray for Christians who have come under attack in recent weeks in Egypt, that they will know the Lord’s comfort and peace.

[Barnabas Aid]