Christians and church leaders have come under attack in Egypt in recent days. On Wednesday 23 February, church leader Dawoud Botrous was found stabbed to death inside his home in Assuit. Concern was raised after he failed to turn up to preach on Sunday 19 February.
That same day, Egyptian armed forces stormed the 5th century St Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, 110km from Cairo. Eight Christians were wounded and rushed to hospital. Armed forces stormed the main entrance gate using tanks and a bulldozer to demolish a fence erected by the monastery for protection against lawlessness during the civil unrest in January. One of the monks said, “The army was shocked to see the monks standing there praying, ‘Lord have mercy’ without running away. This is what really upset them… As the soldiers were demolishing the gate and the fence they were chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [the traditional Islamic war cry, meaning ‘god is great’] and ‘Victory, Victory’.”
Christians also found themselves targeted as Islamists took advantage of the mayhem and lack of police protection during the chaos and civil unrest that brought down the government in January. On 30 January, two Christian families were massacred in their homes in Minya Province, Upper Egypt. Eleven people, including four children, were killed and four others seriously injured when two Islamist groups – aided by Muslim neighbours – accessed houses owned by Christians.
- Pray for all those who mourn the loss of Dawoud Botrous and the eleven Christians from two families killed in Minya Province, that they will know the Lord’s comfort and peace.
- Pray that those injured in the attack at the monastery and in Minya will experience the Lord’s healing.
- Ask the Lord to bring peace and stability to Egypt after the departure of Hosni Mubarak. Pray that radical Islamists will not be able to capitalise on the crisis to seize power.