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Egyptian Christian children gather round the country’s flag in a group activity. -- Photo: World Watch Monitor
Egyptian Christian children gather round
the country's flag in a group activity.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Intelligence reports have raised concerns of a fresh wave of violence specifically targeting believers travelling to summer camps by bus. The authorities say militants are planning suicide bomb attacks on Christians, as well as army and police personnel. In light of this news, officials have asked church leaders to cancel any camps and conferences held outside of church buildings.

During this time of year, hundreds of thousands attend such events. Church trips and conferences represent popular summer activities that offer times of spiritual revival in Egyptian communities. Events of this nature are anticipated by many -- especially children -- all year and have never been halted in the past.

A few days after the nation's Christian leaders decided to put a hold on their outdoor activities, a guard in Alexandria was attacked by someone he had prevented from entering a church building. On July 15th, the guard, Mina Fouad Zakhary, stopped a young man at the gateway of Saint Mark and Saint Peter Church, asking him why he wanted to go in. The young man then took out a razor blade and cut the guard's neck. Other security officers nearby intervened and apprehended the attacker. Thankfully, the injured guard survived the attack.

The national alert was announced six weeks after a church group travelling to Saint Samuel Monastery in Minya was ambushed by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) on May 26th. A total of 30 believers were killed in the attack, including women and children. Further information on this incident is available here.

As our Christian brothers and sisters in Egypt face these heightened threats, may they remain steadfast in their faith -- casting all their cares upon the Lord and trusting explicitly in Him – and thus fully experience His perfect peace (Psalm 55:22; Isaiah 26:3). Pray for the healing of the church guard, Mina, who was injured during the recent attack in Alexandria; and that all those in both governmental and spiritual authority will be granted wisdom as they continue in their stance against militarism. Ask the Lord to provide His people in Egypt new and innovative ways to receive discipleship and fellowship so they can be assured of safety amid threats of attack.