Egypt's Christians Concerned About Aftermath

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Egypt's Christians have faced hardship and persecution under President Hosni Mubarak and some have joined the demonstrations against the regime. However, some are concerned that what could come later may be even more difficult. They have asked for prayer.

The Egyptian street revolution has created uncertainty around the world, and especially for the Arab country's 10 million Christians.

"Most of the churches are closed because of security in the city," said Paul Estabrooks, senior communications specialist for Open Doors International. "And people are meeting in homes now to pray together, and of course ministries like Open Doors are being affected significantly because of curfews, because of security issues on the street."

Earlier this year, there were videos on the video-sharing website YouTube showing Coptic Christians in Egypt being attacked and killed. The Assyrian News Service reported this week that Islamic radicals killed 11 people, including children, who comprised two Coptic Christian families.

Pastor Michael Youssef of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta was born in Egypt. He's concerned about an assault by the Muslim Brotherhood on the growing population of evangelical Christians and Muslim converts to Christianity. He said the brotherhood's quest for power extends beyond Egypt to Israel.

"The aim of the Islamists is to tighten the noose around Israel's neck," Youssef said. "That's really the bottom line. And they're seeing a great opportunity in Egypt, which has been a strong supporter of the peace with Israel. If Egypt falls, then Jordan will be next and you've got Hezbollah and Lebanon in the north, then you've got a real noose around Israel, and that's really their dream."

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell was in Cairo for Egypt's history-making week of public demonstrations. He said Egypt's believers know their country is at a crossroads.

"And they're saying that this is really a tipping point in Egypt's spiritual and natural history," Mitchell said. "And it's very important for people to be praying and fasting for the nation of Egypt. That it turns not back to Islam and some sort of theocracy like we see in Iran, but it turns more to freedom, more democracy, so that the Gospel itself, this prayer movement, people coming to faith in Jesus, can really blossom and flourish, and not only change Egypt, but the Middle East and eventually the world."

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John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.