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Egyptian Christians in need as economy f...

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Egyptian Christians in need as economy falters amid political turmoil

Project(s): 11-910

Country/Region: Egypt, Middle East and North Africa, Africa

You came at just the right time for us… my family had no food to eat for dinner. Thank you for coming at the right time.

An Egyptian Christian mother who received a food package from Barnabas

Barnabas Aid is helping thousands of poor Christian families in Egypt who have been struggling to make ends meet as the country’s economy falters amid intensifying political turmoil.  

Delivering_aid_4X3.jpg
Barnabas is feeding
needy Christian families in Egypt

Many of Egypt’s sizeable Christian minority, an estimated eight million people (ten per cent of the population) were already extremely poor, as a result of discrimination, before the revolution. But their plight has worsened in the fallout from that tumultuous event, which has seen the economy – particularly the tourism industry – near collapse, resulting in soaring prices and food scarcity.

Barnabas Aid is helping Egyptian Christians in a number of practical ways including feeding needy families, enabling Christians to set up small businesses to support themselves and covering medical expenses.

This support has proved to be a lifeline for those at the end of their own resources. One family in Minya, whose sole breadwinner lost her job in a clothes shop when it fell victim to the economic crisis, received a food package from Barnabas Aid just as they had spent their last few Egyptian pounds. Our partners encouraged them, saying:

When you have a really difficult time, God will show up.

As well as financial hardship, Egyptian Christians have suffered a marked increase in physical violence at the hands of Islamists since the revolution. Fearful that a Muslim Brotherhood victory in the presidential elections would lead to the establishment of an Islamist state, many Christians voted for the former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, for which they have faced further harassment and hostility from Islamists.

Garbage_village_4X3.jpg
Many Egyptian Christians are very poor and live in “garbage villages” 

Collision Course

Barnabas Aid is concerned that Egyptian Christians may become even more vulnerable as the country descends into political turmoil with the military and Islamists on a collision course.

The dissolution of the Islamist-dominated parliament following an Egyptian Supreme Court ruling last Thursday (14 June) was slammed by the Muslim Brotherhood as a “coup against the entire democratic process” and warned that Egypt could see “dangerous” days ahead if power is returned to those linked to the previous regime.

Tensions increased on Sunday (17 June) when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) issued a declaration granting itself sweeping powers and limiting those of the president. Thousands of demonstrators have once again filled Tahrir Square, the epicentre of last year’s “Arab Spring” protests, decrying the military coup.

Amid this turmoil, the results of the presidential election, which were due to be announced today (Thursday 21 June), have been delayed.

The military and Islamists are now on a collision course; some commentators are predicting massive violence, perhaps even civil war.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:

The events of the last week have plunged Egypt back into a state of uncertainty and instability, making everyday life extremely difficult for its long-suffering citizens. Christians have been increasingly vulnerable since the revolution and their future in the country is looking ever more precarious. Barnabas Aid is standing with them throughout this tumultuous time both in prayer and with practical support.

Give Today:

If you would like to help Christians in Egypt, please send a donation to the Egypt General Fund (ref 11-910). using our secure server

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Egypt General Fund (ref 11-910).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Egypt General Fund (ref 11-910).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/910 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Please Pray:
  • That Egypt will not descend into a state of civil unrest and that political order will be restored, in keeping with the democratic wishes of the Egyptian people.
  • That the country’s economy will improve with jobs becoming available and resources more affordable.
  • For Christians who are in hardship and concerned about their future in Egypt; pray that the Lord will give them His peace and provide for all their needs.
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Egyptian Christians in need as economy falters amid political turmoil

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    • Give thanks that as believers in some areas of Egypt continue to be at risk of violence from Islamists, Barnabas Aid is able to provide various kinds of practical help for needy Christians there, especially those most affected by the political turmoil. We are supporting Christian families in Upper Egypt with housing costs, medicines, food and schooling for their children, and 30 Christian students who were on the verge of dropping out of education because of lack of money have received funding to complete their education. Pray for all those receiving this help, that they will also be encouraged spiritually. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 3 hours ago

    • Give thanks that the authorities in Egypt are pursuing justice for the Christian community following widespread violence against them by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood last summer. Christians were scapegoated by the Islamists for the downfall of President Mohammed Morsi. On 14 August, mobs torched scores of churches, Christian institutions and private property in what was described as the worst single day of violence against the Egyptian Church since the 14th century. Over 100 Muslims have been charged in connection with the attacks; at the time of writing they were due to stand trial for rioting, attacking citizens and targeting the churches and homes of Christians. Pray that justice will be done and restitution made to churches and individuals who suffered material losses. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Jul 2014 00:00

    • “I was so happy and treasure this Word of God. It brings me so much peace and hope.” Uu Dee KoMang, an elderly woman in Burma (Myanmar), was one of many Christians who recently received a Kachin Bible through Barnabas Aid. Two years ago the Burmese army entered her village and ordered everyone to leave within the hour. Uu Dee took some clothes and food and ran, but her Bible was too heavy to carry. Now living in a relocation camp, she regretted not taking it, until the Bibles from Barnabas arrived. Pray that God’s Word will comfort and strengthen these believers who have lost so much and will give them encouragement for the future. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Pray for three Christian prisoners of conscience in Vietnam who are being denied access to Bibles and other sources of spiritual support. Prison guards in Hanoi and Thanh Hoa province have refused to allow Le Quoc Quan, a lawyer and activist, and bloggers Maria To Phong Tan and Paul Tran Minh Nhat to receive visits from their church leaders and have prevented them from receiving Communion. Maria is serving a ten-year prison sentence in a harsh labour camp; she has been beaten by other inmates. Pray that the Lord will sustain and build up the faith of our brothers and sister as they cry out to Him in their need (Psalm 142:6). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Jul 2014 00:00

    • Five ethnic Hmong Christian families in Vietnam have been attacked by their neighbours in attempts to get them to renounce their faith. On 26 February, Hang A Khua and his family were ordered to recant by public security officers, backed by around 30 villagers from Trun Phu in Dien Bien province; when they refused, the officers ordered the villagers to attack them. The mob ransacked and demolished the family’s house; their rice fields were confiscated, and they were expelled from the district. In Son La province, four more Christian families were similarly threatened in March. One couple were attacked in their home; they were kicked and punched, and the wife was dragged out of the house by her hair. Give thanks for these families’ courageous stand for Christ and pray that they will find strength in Him. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Jul 2014 00:00

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