Friday, December 14, 2007

Egyptian Christians

I'm starting a new feature on my blog where at least twice a month I'll be writing about issues that pertain to the persecuted church. Around the world brothers and sisters in the Christian faith are risking their lives to share the Gospel just like Paul and Peter did in Biblical times. In places like China, India and the Middle East where it seems like all odds are stacked against the message of Christ, communities of believers are springing up like wildflowers and flourishing despite heavy resistance.

The first country/group of Christians I want to bring to your attention are those in Egypt and here's why:

"Egypt’s population of 80 million is composed of about 90 percent Muslims and only about 10 percent Christians. Although the percentage of Christians in Egypt is small, it represents the largest Christian population in the Middle East." [source: TCP]

Stories about the Middle East are constantly in the news and most American media outlets seem to focus on the negative facts. Let's pray that Egyptian Christians (also referred to as Copts) will continue to grow in numbers and that they will be bold in their proclamation of Jesus in a country where they are the minority.

I'm still figuring out what the situation is really like for Christians over there but from what I've read so far it seems like one major issue is that the government has a strong opposition from them changing their legal religious status from "Muslim" to "Christian".

Here's an excerpt from The Christian Post that deals with this issue:

“My wife is pregnant. I want my son to be born within my own religion and for the fact that he is Christian to be written on official papers,” said Hegazy, according to Agence France-Presse.

In Egypt, a child’s registered religion is based on the father’s official faith. As a result, Hegazy has to change his religion to Christianity in order for his son to be raised openly as a Christian and be able to enroll in Christian religious classes at school, wed in a church, and attend church services openly without harassment.

That's pretty alarming.

For more info on Egyptian Christians check out the following links:
  • Free Copts
  • U.S. Copts
  • The Persecution Blog

  • If you are an Egyptian, lived in Egypt or know of any blogs by Christian Egyptians please leave a comment and share your opinion.


    Scott Williams said...

    Excellent job of engaging us abroad!

    SolShine7 said...

    Thanks Scott! That's the goal.