Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood gains popularity weeks from elections
“Under Mubarak, there was a measure of protection for Christians because of the history, because of the respect that they’ve earned in the country. With a new government, with Islamic Brotherhood coming, all bets are off,” Tom Doyle with E3Partners told Mission Network News.
9/26/2011 Egypt (MNN) – The first of Egypt’s three-tiered elections are scheduled to take place in November, with the increasing likelihood that the Muslim Brotherhood will take charge.
“The main issue right now that is on the table and that believers need to pray about is that Islamic Brotherhood does not get full control of the country,” agrees Tom Doyle with E3Partners, who just returned from Egypt.
“In January, 10% of the people polled in Egypt thought Islamic Brotherhood would be fit to lead the country, and that they would be willing to follow them,” explains Doyle. “That’s changed now–fast forward nine months later–to 50% of the country.”
Concerns for Christians are rising with the popularity of the Brotherhood. “Under Mubarak, there was a measure of protection for Christians because of the history, because of the respect that they’ve earned in the country. With a new government, with Islamic Brotherhood coming, all bets are off,” Doyle explains. “And most believers would feel that it’s going to get violent.”
Despite the Brotherhood’s stance as “moderate,” believers’ fears are not unjustified. The Muslim group may be coming into power at a time when a recent poll showed that “82% of all Egyptians believe that if a Muslim converts to Christianity, he should be killed,” according to Doyle.
Doyle adds that upon the government collapse, 30,000 prisoners who had known terrorist pasts were released. Many of them had anti-Christian agendas. Above-ground churches closed their doors for weeks afterward out of fear of attack.
Other Christians are hopeful. “Many Egyptians are saying, ‘Well, maybe [the Muslim Brotherhood] is not as bad as they were.’ But what we’ll have is a much more radical Islamic country,” observes Doyle. “To me, it resembles what’s happened in Iran.”