“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.” Daniel 6:26-27
My dear friends,
Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I write this message, Egypt is undergoing a very, very difficult time. It looks as if the country is experiencing labor pains which may end up by the birth of a new baby, a new democratic Egypt. But it could also be the pains prior to a stillbirth, or an abortion!!
You probably have heard about the recent killings of 77 people after the football match in Port Said. It is very difficult to understand why this happened. Many people believe that this massacre was an arranged by the old regime. I can hardly imagine that this is my beloved country, Egypt. Whatever the reason is, this very sad massacre provoked anger all over Egypt which led to widespread demonstrations and violence in several provinces. These violent demonstrations led to more killing and injuries. It is said that more than 2,500 were injured in this last week alone. In addition to this, a government building was set on fire and unknown persons detonated the natural gas pipeline in Sinai for the 12th time in the last year.
The Parliament, the Military Council, the Prosecutor and the Ministry of Interior commissioned committees to investigate the reasons for the Port Said massacre. I hope they will be able to find who is behind this. It is very disappointing and frustrating that previous investigations in regard to the Maspero massacre revealed nothing and brought no one to justice.
Some political parties and students from different universities are now calling for civil disobedience for three days starting on the 11th of February 2012. They are calling for the transfer of government from the Military Council to a civil one. We as a church have decided that we will keep our churches open for prayer during these days. We pray that it will pass without violence.
The major challenge that lies ahead of us now is the writing of the new constitution. Who will be involved in this? Is it a group of likeminded people or a group of Egyptians representing the entire spectrum of thoughts? Will it respect the United Nations declaration of Human Rights, or not? Under the shadow of these dark clouds, St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral in Alexandria organized a three-day revival meeting that involved praise, teaching and prayer for Egypt. Over 800 people attended these meetings and 130 signed up for the Alpha Course.
On the 14th of February, All Saints Cathedral in Cairo will host representatives from all different denominations who will gather to pray for unity. On the 21st of February, heads of denominations will gather for the second time to discuss the establishment of the Egypt Council of Churches.
Please join us in prayer for Egypt, for the stability of the country, for those who will write the new constitution, for safety and protection for all, and for the unity of the church.
May the Lord bless you! Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.