A minute for the persecuted church: Egypt
Edited and submitted by Al Coats
With over 10,000 Copts and Catholics, as well as Protestants of all ages and backgrounds, flocking to the Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church (KDEC) in downtown Cairo, from all over the country, it becomes clear that churches in the West could learn a thing or two from this, the largest Evangelical Church in the Middle East.
The KDEC church has all the hallmarks of evangelical worship familiar to those in the West. But what is different is the nature of the outreach. The church is attended by and receives collections from 10,000 Christians over a rolling program of services during the week. All the funds received are given to the community, and that means to the Muslim majority as well as the Christians who make up only 10 percent of the population. The church runs some 24 drug rehab clinics and ministers to all kinds of people in trouble including children, single mothers, Syrian refugees and women caught up in sex trafficking and abuse.
Pastor Sameh Hannah says the mood among Christians is very, very good, despite attacks on churches, including the Palm Sunday bombings last year which killed dozens and injured many more. He says, “If you attend this church, you will see crazy people shouting joyfully, even though outside it is very dark. Faith – this is the secret of a joyful spirit.”
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, president of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services and also of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, believes the western church is collapsing because of the weakness of its faith. He disagrees with Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and is also against same sex marriage. Zaki says, “Go again and be committed to the Bible. I don’t want my church to go the same path as the Liberals.” He is the head of the largest evangelical community in the region, with some two million Protestants, the second largest Christian group after the Copts, with 1600 churches across the country (60 percent young people), which also runs schools and hospitals.
As to Egypt’s Christians themselves, any time spent in the country makes it clear that it will take much more than an existential threat from terrorists to dim their optimism and their faith.
To read the full and original article go to:Inside Egypt: How a Christian broadcaster is helping millions retain hope across the region