Egypt continues to need the prayers of evangelicals globally. The future remains unclear – as Fouad Youssef, General Secretary of the Fellowship of Evangelicals in Egypt puts it, ”we continue to wait for God and ask Him for continuing grace on our precious land”.
Egyptian evangelicals are deeply committed to helping to shape the future of their beloved nation. The Statements below from the ‘Council of Protestant Churches of Egypt’ (issued on 9th February – before the most recent dramatic developments) and on 17th February – are great articulations of that commitment.
Statement from the Protestant Community in Egypt
The Executive Committee of the Council of Protestant Churches of Egypt held a specialized meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 , in the presence of a number of leaders of the Protestant Community representing its different denominations, where extensive discussions took place on the events and the rapid changes that our country is experiencing. Based on the beliefs of the church in that it is an integral part of the community, and the church’s feeling of its national duty in service of its community for a better life for all of its citizens, we assert the following:
- Our appreciation for the courage and the decency of the youth’s movement on January 25, and legitimacy of their demands for freedom of expression and the desire for change and reform.
The Protestant Community expresses its appreciation of the initiatives taken by the youth of our churches in different areas, which manifested itself in positive engagement to eliminate the effects of vandalism and destruction that occurred in some locations, and appeals to its sons for more of this participation.
- Our pride in the role of our armed forces in protecting the security and safety of the nation, as well as the elegant civility with which they deal with the citizens all throughout the past period of time.
- Our support and respect for the constitutional legitimacy as a guarantee of the security and safety of the nation.
- Our trust in the security service under its new leadership to carry out its role in preserving and ensuring the safety of the country in a civilized manner that respects the rights of the Egyptian citizen of freedom, dignity and security.
- Our emphasis on the necessity and inevitability of a democratic and civil state, whereby citizenship is the only foundation in dealing with citizens in the community.
- The absolute rejection of all forms and images of corruption, and the need to hold all who are corrupt accountable, regardless of their positions.
- The desire and willingness of the Protestant Community to participate in the ongoing national dialogue regarding the future of the country, through its sons who specialize in different areas, and to do so from a nationalistic perspective and not a religious one.
The leadership of the Protestant Community in Egypt announced its full and absolute support of the achievements of the youth of the 25th of January in accomplishments that contributed to the fulfillment of a people’s revolution that eliminated all of the forms of corruption, and came out with Egypt to a bright future. Also, the leadership announced its support of all of the decisions and steps taken by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in order to achieve security and stability, and to allow for the peaceful transition of authority to a civilian leadership to govern the country. This came in the conclusion of the second meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Protestant Council of the Community, that was held last Tuesday 15th of February under the leadership of Rev. Andrea Zaki, Ph.D., Vice President (and Acting President) of the Community, in the presence of those representing the different protestant denominations of Egypt.
The Protestant Community Rejects the Establishment of Religious Parties and Opens its Hospitals to Treat the Wounded
Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki stated that it had been arranged that the hospitals of the Protestant Church in Cairo and Tanta be open for the treatment of the wounded of the past events, free of charge, in addition to providing full support to the families of the victims and the injured. He added that the statement issued by the Community asserted the following:
- That the Protestant Community stresses that, no matter how much it says or does, it cannot do justice in offering the due gratitude and appreciation to the martyrs, the sons of the country. Also, the Protestant Community in Egypt calls upon all of its churches of all denominations, inside and outside the Arab Republic of Egypt, to hold a day of fasting and prayer for Egypt and the families of the martyrs, next Sunday, the 20th of February, 2011.
- The Protestant Community expresses, quite clearly, its full support for a civil state, and its absolute rejection of the establishment of religious parties, and that is to prevent the confusion of the absolute and relative and to stress that general humanitarian principles that are agreed upon, and also the international charters for human rights are what should be the fundamental reference to the Constitution and the Law.
- The necessity of the church providing all of the forms of support possible to the families of the injured. And the church, as it opens the door to treating the injured, free of charge, in the Protestant hospitals in Cairo and Tanta, at the same time, encourages its local churches in their different locations to continue in the restoration and rebuilding of the governmental organizations that were damaged, and also to establish small projects for day-based-workers, and to work on cleaning and beautifying the different areas of the country.
- The Protestant Community stresses, again, on the basic human rights, such as the right for education and freedom of expression, and also freedoms of beliefs and worship, and worship observance for all. Also, the right for a life of dignity for all citizens, and giving top priority to scientific research, for the building of the modern country.