dinsdag 15 februari 2011

Ramez Atallah (Egyptisch Bijbelgenootschap) over de situatie in Egypte

Ramez Atallah, directeur van het Bijbelgenootschap in Egypte, geeft deze visie op de situatie in ons land. Ik wil u er deelgenoot van maken:
People feel empowered; they have broken the bonds of fear from a totalitarian system. Much goodwill and unity has been expressed. However, some costly damage has been done like the stealing of valuable archeological treasures from the Cairo Museum, the destruction of many government properties and the escape of many prisoners. There are also dozens of strikes and demonstrations by varied groups of society who believe they were unjustly treated by the previous regime and now feel free to demand their rights. All this continues to create a feeling of insecurity among many. On the positive side there is a massive, spontaneous "clean up" campaign going on in which Christians and Muslims of all classes of society are working together to clean up and rebuild Cairo and other cities across the nation.

I am sure you can imagine that with the country having come to a standstill for 18 days and with most foreigners (including businessmen and tourists) having left, it will take a lot of time and effort to restore Egypt to the economic stability we had begun to enjoy during the last year.

The present situation is extremely complex. It seems obvious to me (but not to many others) that the kind of “democracy” which could eventually be achieved by this revolution will be within the framework of a country whose main ideology is based on unwavering loyalty to a major religion. (A 2009 Gallup poll indicated that Egypt is one of the most religious countries in the world!). There will, hopefully, be much more freedom of expression and a more democratic governing system. But like all the nations in our region, there will still be restrictions for us as Christians which we will not be able to easily ignore.

While most Christians are encouraged by the "winds of democratic change", many others fear that the well-organized Muslim Brotherhood could win in a free election, and that if this happens the status of Christians in Egypt might be worse than before. Many believers in Egypt are used to equating God's blessing with physical comfort and even prosperity. Most expect a relatively peaceful life, and are not equipped to handle difficulties within a Biblical framework. Some Christians have not hesitated to flee the country, while many of those remaining wish they could leave as well. [...]

Nearly all the dreams and aspirations of the youth who began this revolution are basic Biblical values. Unfortunately, some of the corruption and injustice against which they are revolting was perpetuated by so-called Christians as well. We know that, unless people's hearts are changed by the Holy Spirit, all hope of a real "reformation of life-style", to which many Egyptians now aspire, will be impossible to achieve. There has never been a time when God's voice is more needed.

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