As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lets go of his 29-year hold on power, Christian leaders are seeking God's protection for their nation and trusting in his providence throughout both the recent tumult and the still-murky future.
On Thursday, the Evangelical Community in Egypt called on local churches to unite in prayer on Thursday, February 17, and the following Sunday "for the safety and security of our country."
In an open letter to Egypt's Vice President, General Omar Suleiman, Evangelical Community Acting President Andrea Zaki Stephanous paid tribute to both the "courage and decency of the youth's movement" and "the role of our armed forces in protecting the safety and security of the nation."
Bishop Mouneer H. Anis, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, says that Egypt's church has a long history of prospering amid trials.
"I know the future of the church is in the hand of the Lord," Anis told CT on Thursday evening. "Our church in Egypt, which was started back in 61 A.D. with St. Mark, experienced hardships, persecution … Alexandria, which is the beginning of the church, was actually baptized by the blood of many martyrs and saints. And persecution actually helped the church to grow."
According to the 2010 Operation World, Egypt has around 4,000 Anglicans. Though the ultimate shape of a post-Mubarak government isn't yet clear, Anis sees both blessings and challenges ahead.
"I think, if Egypt will become a secular country, that really respects the rights of citizenship, there is a potential for the church to grow," Anis said, "but also there is a potential for the church to relax, like what happened in the West, without too many hardships or challenges."
"If Egypt becomes an Islamic state—for example, like ...1