Blog Post

Egyptian Christians Forgive Their Attackers

In the face of repeated attacks by Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, Egyptian Christians are responding with love, forgiveness and courage.

CBN News is reporting that authentic Christianity is on display in Egypt in all of its Christ-like glory as the perpetrators of heartless attacks on their churches and businesses are being met not only with restraint, but with forgiveness.

For instance, in the town of Minya, which is considered to be the epicenter of the persecution of the Christian church in Egypt, Muslim mobs attacked and destroyed a Coptic Christian orphanage called Christ Soldiers, leaving about 200 children without shelter.

Instead of reacting with revenge, the Christians who run the orphanage left a very Scriptural message for the attackers on the building's exterior wall: "You meant to hurt us, but we forgive you. God is love. Everything works out for good."

They added Christ's words: "Love your enemies."

Dozens of churches in the city were completely destroyed but that hasn't stopped Christians from worshiping. In the Amir Tadros Church, a century-old church that was completely gutted, services are being held at 6:30 a.m. using a makeshift altar erected outside.

Churches, schools and orphanages are not the only targets in what some experts are calling the worst episode of Christian persecution in Egypt in 700 years. Christian cars and business are also being targeted.

An evangelical ministry known as the Bible Society has been selling Bibles, books and children's materials for more than a century in Egypt. In the recent spate of attacks, terrorists destroyed two of their stores.

"For the last 130 years we have been operating," Bible Society of Egypt Vice President Ehad Tanas told CBN News. "We have bookshops in the streets and the main cities in Cairo and Alexandria, Tantur, Upper Egypt and it [the destruction] has never happened before in the history of the Bible Society."

Anti-Christian violence sprang up in the wake of the ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi when his supporters decided to target the churches as scapegoats. The ensuing violence saw dozens of churches and businesses destroyed and several Christians killed.

Yet many Christians are quick to point out that their Muslim neighbors defended and protected them against the angry mobs, which is why most Egyptians see the conflict not as Christians against Muslims, but as Egyptians against terrorists.

In the meantime, Egyptian Christians are using this as a teaching moment for their children.

"This day I think the children have a life experience," said Sunday school teacher Marka William of Amir Tadros Church to CBN News. "They see their church burned. They see how they are treated all the day. They see us forgive our enemies."

"We respond as every other Christian has responded," Tanas said. "We are in Egypt to serve. We are in Egypt to demonstrate the Christian love. We do every effort to be self-restrained and to show the Christian love that the Lord has taught us to show."

Egyptian Christians are asking for prayer and support from the worldwide Church.

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