PRAYER ALERT: The events leading up to the final vote on a new Islamic constitution on Dec. 22 have opened a great divide in Egypt. Despite increased persecution by the Muslim Brotherhood government, on Oct. 26-29 25,000 Christians gathered for a time to pray and worship in the desert north of Cairo. An estimated 5 to 6 million people watched this national event on TV. This united prayer may seem at first to have brought the opposite result three weeks later. On November 22 President Morsi, who was elected last April with a commitment to democracy, issued a decree banning any challenges to presidential decrees, laws and decisions. This was the familiar jihadist Muslim practice of making the first election the last election.
But protesters immediately challenged this ban, calling it a coup, and organizing demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people against this decree. Egypt’s two highest appeals courts joined the protest by suspending all their work. Greater protests were sparked when an Islamic panel tried to pre-empt a court ruling against them by rushing through a draft constitution for Egypt—without the participation of liberal and Christian members.
Anger at Morsi grew so pervasive that when he attended his mosque on Nov. 30—and the preacher compared his decree to the vast powers enjoyed by the prophet Mohammed—congregants shouted him down, chanting “No to tyranny!” The Muslim Brotherhood retaliated by paying gangs to rape women and beat men who participated in further mass demonstrations. But Morsi finally backed down to popular pressure when on Dec. 8 he canceled his decree.
Yet he also confirmed that the referendum on the new shariah-based constitution would be held by the end of 2012.It got 64% of a violently contended vote that was rejected by Morsi’s political rivals because they said it did nothing to protect Egypt’s minorities—including the 13% who are Christian. It gives the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament full legislative powers until Egypt votes for a new lower house early in 2013. held. Fears of oppressive and prejudicial austerity measures started a run on the banks, and the government reacted by prohibiting anyone from leaving Egypt with more than $10,000 in cash.
PRAY WITH US: Father God, we thank You that You have made Your only Son Jesus Christ, whose birthday we are celebrating, King of kings and Lord of lords. The Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to make the entire nation of Egypt submit to the false lord Allah during this Christmas season. This is a time to pray because You say that Egyptians “will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them” (Isa. 19:20). We ask You to begin the fulfillment of Your word to Egypt now.
Your people have cried out in the desert to You because of oppressors. You have revealed that these men are oppressors to all Egypt and all the world. The Muslim Brotherhood which last year used the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring for their own purposes are now facing popular uprisings against their tyranny. We praise You for raising up Your courageous people to reverse an oppressive decree. Now let the Savior and Champion deliver them from an oppressive shariah-based constitution. Undo this plan and let Your justice prevail. Let grace and truth come to all Egyptians. Set the course for the fulfillment of Your word, that “the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day” (Isa. 19:21). In Jesus’ name, amen.
#Egypt: a time to pray