(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)


A fire-damaged Egyptian church, one
of many attacked by Muslim militants.
Photo: Barnabas Aid

In the early hours of July 16th, flames and smoke engulfed the only church building in the Egyptian village of Al-Madamoud, which is located east of Luxor. Before firefighters arrived, in a spirit of cooperation not typically witnessed in Egypt (where many churches have been destroyed by militants), Muslim and Christian villagers worked together to extinguish the blaze.

Despite their efforts, the whole interior of the building was destroyed. The next morning, Safwat Samaan, the director of the human rights group Nation Without Borders, was able to visit the scene. Members of the congregation crowded into the blackened shell of the building with great sadness over the devastation. "It broke my heart to see old men, eyes full of tears, and women wailing," he reports.

Members of the congregation are now concerned that local authorities will claim the fire was merely accidental, which has been the case of so many other church building fires. This was the ruling involving a church within Luxor that caught fire on April 20th under mysterious circumstances.

Authorities claimed that the Luxor fire was the result of either unattended candles or a short in a wire -- even though there was no evidence of candles, and a church attendant had turned off the main electrical line to the building. Similarities between the fires of the burned churches indicate the possibility that a serial arsonist may be targeting churches in the Luxor area.

As the congregants of these destroyed churches now deal with the devastating loss of their cherished places of worship, pray that God's comfort, peace, strength and grace...will be tangibly experienced in their lives. May their heavy hearts be uplifted over the fact that they can worship Jesus anywhere, and not even the loss of their buildings can stop them. As the Lord directs them with the rebuilding of their churches, pray that He will also build up their faith -- so that their mission in reaching others of the community will be strong and effective. This includes their ministry to the individual(s) who may be responsible for the fires.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

Leader
President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.

end

Select a Region

Egypt News

  • Christian Appointed Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court
    Supreme Constitutional Court building
    Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ahmad Badr (cc)

    On February 9th, the Egyptian president officially swore in the new head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court: Boulos (Paul) Fahmy Eskandar. Judge Eskandar is the first Coptic Christian to be appointed to this positi

    ...
  • Legalization of More Churches
    St. Markos Church in Cairo
    Photo: Flickr / Andrew A. Shenouda (cc)

    Until 2016, it was nearly impossible for churches in Egypt to obtain the required licensing to build or restore a building for worship. As a result, many structures were built without a license. With the passing of legislation in September 2016, a government

    ...
  • Physically Disabled Christian Convert Beaten
    A mosque and a church in Egypt. - Photo: Flickr / David Evers
    Photo: Flickr / David Evers (cc)

    On March 17th, Brother "P" was lured from his house by neighbours and beaten because he had converted to Christianity. Due to a physical disability, he was unable to escape from his attackers, so fellow Christians came to his aid. As a result of their intervention,

    ...
  • Riots Follow Blasphemy Accusation
    Monastery in Egypt
    Roughly ten percent of Egypt's population is Christian, the majority of which are Copts.

    Egypt's Minya Governorate region erupted in violence on November 25th after rumours spread that a young, barely literate Christian man named Girgis Sameeh posted a message on Facebook that was considered insulti

    ...