Beliefnet
Activist Faith

The following report comes from my friends at Open Doors International. Much is happening in Egypt, far more than the headlines can share. Here is what one group is doing to help live out faith in this area.

Thanks,


Dillon

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When
a bomb ripped through a church in Alexandria this past New Year’s Day,
Christians across the western world reeled with shock. Twenty-one
believers were killed in the attack, and many others were wounded. While
Christians in the west watched the news reports with disbelief, our
partners in Egypt tell us that the attack came as no surprise to local
believers.

“Things are becoming more and more uncertain for
Christians in Egypt,” says Ammon, who heads up our ministry in the
country. And it’s not only in the big cities like Alexandria and Cairo
where believers are facing increased danger.

“The most important
challenge for our work is to continue to strengthen the church in rural
areas,” explains Ammon. “Recently Christians were attacked after
someone spread a rumor that a local pastor wanted to start a house
church. The rumor started simply because two cars from Cairo were parked
in front of his house. The whole village turned out in anger. Believers
were attacked, and cars were set on fire, along with several houses and
shops owned by Christians.”

Fundamentalists gaining ground
Ammon
identifies the increase in anti-Christian violence as stemming directly
from a rise in fundamentalist Islam in Egypt, which is gaining ground
over the more liberal Islam which has previously held sway in many
regions.

“Many Egyptians go to Saudi Arabia to work. They come
back with fundamentalist ideas and no longer tolerate other views,”
explains Ammon. “These Egyptians come back with a new dream–to make
Egypt into a strict Islamic state. In the villages, the fundamentalists
are gaining power, taking over the mosques, and teaching the people to
turn to violence.”

Holding fast to Christ
Despite
the swelling tide of violence against the church, Ammon also tells us
how your support is enabling believers in Egypt’s rural areas to hold
fast to Christ. By providing training seminars, together with Bibles and
study resources for isolated pastors, Open Doors is equipping rural
churches to stand firm in the face of persecution.

In addition,
our micro-credit projects are providing practical help for many rural
Christians, who otherwise would be forced to leave their villages and
head to the cities to find employment. “The pull to the cities is
disastrous for local churches,” says Ammon. “So Open Doors supports
Christians who do not have an income through vocational training and
loans so they can start up small businesses.”

Strengthening Egypt’s bravest
There
are so many in Egypt who are living for Christ in the midst of danger.
That’s why your support for believers like Ammon and our partners across
Egypt is so important. It’s bringing strength and perseverance to the
bravest of our brothers and sisters who are advancing the Kingdom in the
face of increasing uncertainty!

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DILLON
BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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