Cairo, Egypt) — Marhaba — hello in Arabic — from the capital of Egypt.
It has been such a joy to be here and meet with Egyptian Christian leaders over the past several days. By God’s grace, I have had the opportunity to step behind the headlines and hear what the Lord is doing in Egypt, discuss the recent terrorist attacks and other challenges facing Christians here, and pray with and for our brothers and sisters.
Among the leaders I met with were Rev. Andrea Zaki Stephanous, the President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt; and Rev. Dr. Atef Gendy, President of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo. These and the other leaders I met with were so helpful and encouraging and I am deeply grateful for my time with them.
[Note: For some context, here is a recent interview I gave to CBN News on the suicide bombings targeting Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday, how President el-Sisi is responding, and my recent meeting with the Egyptian president in Washington.]
It’s been eleven years since I was last here. My wife, Lynn, and I and our four sons lived in Cairo — in the district of Heliopolis, actually — for almost three months (from November 2005 through January 2006) while I was working on a book project. So much has happened since then. The Arab Spring. The fall of the Mubarak regime. The rise of Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The fall of Morsi and the Brotherhood. The election of President el-Sisi. The tensions between President Obama and the el-Sisi administration. A surge of terrorism in the Sinai. And now a new season of strengthened U.S.-Egyptian relations under the Trump-Pence administration, with President el-Sisi having been invited to visit the White House last month for the first time since he took office several years ago.
It is very special, therefore, to be back and to stand in solidarity with the Christians of Egypt who have bravely and patiently stood for the Lord and His Word through many dangers, toils and traumas. I was glad to hear from so many leaders that Christians are feeling strengthened and encouraged by the Lord of late, despite attacks by the Islamic State and other jihadists. They are not retaliating against the terrorists. They are not calling for revenge. They are loving their neighbors, and their enemies, just as our Savior commands, and they are steadily earning the respect of the Muslim majority.
With a population of some 93 million people, and a long and rich history of civilization and global significance, modern Egypt is both the most populous nation in the Arab League and the intellectual capital of the Arab and Sunni Muslim world.
Egypt is also a nation with a fascinating Biblical history and future. Indeed, Egypt is one of the most important nations in the Scriptures. It is mentioned in the Bible more than any other country except for Israel. Many important Biblical leaders lived in and served God in Egypt during ancient times — from Moses and Aaron and Joshua to Joseph and Jeremiah — and so many important Biblical events occurred here. What’s more, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself lived here for a time as a little boy, having been brought by his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, at the direction of an angel who warned that the Romans were going to try to kill Jesus.
Both the Old and New Testaments make clear that God has a great love for the people of Egypt, just as He loves all people in the world. The Apostle Mark brought the Gospel here in the First Century A.D. and Egypt became an important center of Christian preaching, teaching, discipleship and worship. It remains so today.
Please join me in praying for the Christians of Egypt, indeed for all the people of Egypt, including President el-Sisi and all the nation’s government, business and religious leaders. This is a very special place, dear to God’s heart. May it be dear to ours, as well.
Articles I’ve written about Egypt:
- Meeting Egyptian President Sisi, the man who wants to ‘rebrand’ Egypt (Jerusalem Post)
- It’s time for Washington to strengthen ties with Egypt (Jerusalem Post)
- Rosenberg: Egypt is rising while Syria is imploding (CBN News)
- ISIS targets Egypt, vows to “liberate” Cairo, slaughter Christians. Palm Sunday attacks on two Egyptian churches latest salvo in dangerous new offensive. Here’s the latest. (my blog)
- Without Warning — my new thriller about ISIS operatives launching catastrophic terrorist attacks inside the U.S. using chemical weapons captured in Syria, and the hunt for the ISIS leader by a secret coalition of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE — is now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, Lifeway, and your favorite general market and Christian bookstores. To order online, please click here.
- Would you like to make a secure, tax deductible investment in The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.net)? This is the non-profit organization that my wife, Lynn, and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, to care for the poor and needy in Israel (both Jews and Arabs) with food and other humanitarian relief, care for Holocaust survivors, care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and strengthen the Church in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. The Joshua Fund is a member in good standing of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Please click here to learn more. Thanks so much!
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