On December 11th, in one of the deadliest attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority in years, a bomb exploded during Sunday worship in a Coptic Christian church in Cairo, killing at least 25 people (many of them women and children) and injuring 49 more. The day after the bombing Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi named a 22-year-old man, Mahmoud Mostafa, as the suicide bomber. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing, which happened on the commemoration of the prophet Muhammad’s birthday, three days later.
Earlier, after Friday prayers ended on November 25, a mob of Muslims in Al-Nagameesh village set out on the warpath. A group of Christians had met for a memorial service at a senior citizen’s community center, but rumors were flying that the Christians wanted to change the center into a church. Enraged, the mob set fire to the center, and then began firebombing Coptic homes and businesses with Molotov cocktails. Part of the group blocked the roads so that firefighters could not get through. Four Coptic Christians were injured, and police arrested 29 attackers (quickly releasing all but 14). The same day, the governor ordered a reconciliation meeting between Muslim and Christian leaders.
Last fall, Egypt passed a new law which allows governors to prohibit the construction of new churches, giving Muslim authorities veto power if they don’t believe there are enough Christians in the area to justify the construction of a church. Although Al-Nagameesh village has roughly 2,000 Christians, their community has not been deemed eligible for a church building.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will…” — Hebrews 13:20
1/9 – Ask God to guard the hearts of Coptic Christians from bitterness and rage toward the perpetrators of this violence.
1/10 – Pray that the Holy Spirit fills the inner lives of Christians in Egypt with the fruits of gentleness, peace and joy.
1/11 – Pray for God’s comfort for those who mourn the loss of relatives and friends from December’s bombing in Cairo.
1/12 – Pray that Egyptian Christians encountering attacks from the Enemy hold up the shield of faith with the power to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
1/13 – Pray that Christians in Egypt will turn to God’s Word as food for their souls and light to their paths. Pray that they will rejoice daily “in the God of their salvation.” (Hab 3:18)
1/14 – Pray that nominal Coptic Christians come to place Christ first in their lives, knowing Him as their sanctuary.
1/15 – Pray for a turning back of the tide of Islam in Egypt.