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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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Daily prayer

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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