Egyptian Christians (2011) - Praying for Peace
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
On New Year’s Day 2011, Egyptian Christians gathered at a church in Alexandria to pray for a happy and peaceful year ahead. The service had only just finished when their hopeful start to 2011 was violently shattered. A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the church as worshippers were leaving; 21 Christians were killed. It was a scene of total carnage, with blood and bodies everywhere. As Christian mothers frantically searched for their children, Muslims were seen coming out of a nearby mosque chanting “Allahu Akbar”, which means “god is great”.
A senior Egyptian Church leader said, “Men, women, children and the elderly gathered together in prayer for a happy and peaceful new year. Instead, they became the innocent victims of a most horrific, callous and cowardly act of terror and violence.”
The attack came two weeks after an Al-Qaeda front group, the Islamic State of Iraq, posted a statement on its website calling for militants to bomb Egyptian churches during Christmas celebrations.
O God, our refuge and strength, who art a very present help in time of trouble: have mercy upon thy Church in its hour of persecution from tyranny and oppression; save them from the dangers that beset them; and restore to them the blessings of freedom and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life
Photo by Ravi Pinisetti on Unsplash
Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing