Published: 12:30 GMT Standard Time - Monday 31 January 2011
Poor and vulnerable Egyptian Christians need food and basics
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Egypt
Christians fall victim to chaos in Egypt: Will you help them?
As Egypt descends into deeper unrest with a seventh day of protests, the country's Christians are falling victim to the chaos as their shops are looted and essential supplies start to run out.
Egyptian Christians receive supplies
from Barnabas Aid’s
Feeding Needy Families programme
The majority of Egyptian Christians already live in extreme poverty, and as the demonstrations paralyse daily life, their struggle to make ends meet has become harder. While many shops are being attacked and looted, Christian shops have been particularly targeted.
Christian gatherings and church meetings have been cancelled, while some church minsters are sleeping in their church buildings to protect them from attack. A Barnabas Aid contact said that believers were staying in their homes, where they are "praying hard" and "trusting God" amid the tumult.
Egypt's Christian community was already feeling under threat following targeted attacks, most notably the suicide bombing at a church in Alexandria on New Year's Day that killed at least 21 worshippers. Now they find themselves caught up in an escalating political crisis that could have worrying implications for their future.
Though the unrest is essentially fuelled by economic, social and political grievances, there are growing fears that radical Islamists may capitalise on it to seize power. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is backing influential opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, is the only large, organised opposition group.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned this weekend that Egypt's ancient Christian minority could become increasingly endangered should President Hosni Mubarak be ousted.
It is really legitimate for the (Christians) to be worried that instability (will) follow Mubarak's fall and his replacement with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In addition to the targeted, violent attacks, Egyptian Christians face discrimination in many areas of life, such as in education and employment. Conditions for them would only worsen under an Islamic regime.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid, said:
Christians in Egypt need our immediate practical help and prayer support as they find themselves embroiled in this unfolding crisis. We must also pray that as Egyptian citizens seek freedom from an autocratic leader, they will not fall into the hands of a strict Islamic regime that will only further oppress its people, especially Christians.
Barnabas Aid supports Egyptian Christians through a variety of projects. In this time of crisis, many of the poorest and most vulnerable Christians are in need of food and other basics. Please help us to help them today.
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 11-220 (Feeding needy Christian families in Egypt).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/220 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- That stability will soon be restored in Egypt and that the outcome of the current crisis will bring greater fairness, freedom and peace for every Egyptian citizen.
- For all those whose businesses have been looted or damaged in the riots, that their families will be provided for.
- That Egyptian Christians will know the Lord's protection, presence, peace and provision during this tumultuous time.