American Baptists Call for Day of Prayer for Egypt, the Middle East

In light of Egypt’s recent parliamentary elections and an uncertain future, the American Baptist Churches USA has called for all countries to participate in a special Day of Prayer for Egypt and the Middle East on Dec. 11.

As the largest and most populous country in the Arab world, Egypt’s political decisions have a great influence on the rest of the world. Its close relations with Israel also prove that any political moves made by the country will greatly affect others, including the United States.

With the first round of parliamentary elections ending this week, Egypt is in a particularly uncertain time regarding its political future.

The Muslim Brotherhood won the first round of elections with 80 seats, while the Islamic Alliance won 34 seats.

Critics fear an Islamic rule in parliament will continue close ties with the current Armed Forces interim government.

Many who participated in the Arab Spring uprisings argue that a continued military rule contradicts the purpose of the protests, causing the country to revert to the oppressive rule of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

“We pray for wisdom for the current regime as it hands off to whatever groups wind up in authority,” Roy Medley, General Secretary of the American Baptist Churches USA, told The Christian Post Friday.

“We also pray for the country and for the Christian community there that it might be worship and exercise its faith freely as citizens of Egypt,” he added.

Since the Arab Spring uprisings, Coptic Christians have been seeing an increase in religious persecution. This is due in part to many radical Islamic groups that remained underground during Mubarak’s rule gained substantial power and influence after the uprisings.

Christians experienced the worst display of violence since February’s uprisings on Oct. 9, when 27 protesters were killed during a peaceful protest against the burning of a Coptic church.

Since this outburst, tensions between Christians and Muslims have somewhat subsided. Critics argue that the elections have united the two religious groups in a collaborative fight towards democracy.

Egyptians protested military rule again in late November, arguing that the interim government was not relinquishing its power quickly enough.

Multiple reports indicated that Muslims and Christians were unified at the protests. Christians even linked arms to form a protective chain around their Islamic brothers while they prayed.

“I think it’s very encouraging that Christians and Muslims are exercising love and care for each other, not only in Egypt but in other places around the world,” Medley told CP.

“That’s part of our call as disciples of the Prince of Peace,” he added.

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