The Egyptian Revolution

By now almost everyone is aware of the story of that ancient middle eastern nation – a cradle of civilization – which was ruled by a strict dictator. Although the dictator was western leaning, and supported in large part by the US government as a stabilizing force in the region, the people, over the years, grew weary of the heavy handed policies of their leader and longed for freedom. After decades under the oppressive rule the people rose up and, on Feb 11th , they forced the removal of their leader and celebrated a new day – for democracy they hoped. By the end of March they had a new constitution and in short order another leader. Of course, we are all aware of the fall of the Shah of Iran on Feb 11, 1979, and the ascendency of the Caliphate of Ayatollah Khomeini shortly thereafter. The dreams of democracy and freedom for the Iranian people were postponed even until this very day.

Almost the same scenario could be written for the ancient middle eastern nation of Egypt – a cradle of civilization – which was ruled by a strict dictator. Although the dictator was western leaning and supported in large part by the US government as a stabilizing force in the region – over the years the people grew weary of the heavy handed policies of their leader and longed for freedom. After decades under the oppressive rule the people rose up and on Feb 11th they forced the removal of their leader and celebrated an new day – for democracy they hope! And we all hope and pray with them.

Not much has been carried in the media about the travesties being committed against the Coptic Christians (Egyptian Orthodox Church) under the cover of the demonstrations. Christians were beaten, murdered and Christian churches were bombed. The Christian minorities were (and are) being targeted by Islamist extremists in Egypt. Does this mean that freedom in Egypt is only for Muslims?

Is it merely coincidence that both the dictator of Iran and the dictator of Egypt were deposed on the exact same date 32 years apart? Certainly both peoples desired freedom – but desire and obtaining are not one in the same.

It has been said that history belongs to the intercessors. If that is true than I don’t think we should ignore this opportunity to pray that something better is attained for the people of Egypt – all the people of Egypt. To be sure there are forces at work in the country to bring about the same result that happened in Iran, only under the Sunni form of Islam, whereas Iran is Shia. Still there is room for hope that something better can come out of this and that the Egyptians themselves can take a page from Iranian history and not allow the extremists into power. But one thing is sure – the power vacuum will be filled – either by good or by evil leadership. Currently the military has seized the power – not a good sign for democratic rule, but also not as bad as a Caliphate. There is time to join with those freedom loving souls in Egypt and pray for safety and freedom for all. Certainly an Egypt which protects every citizens right to life and freedom to worship would be a stabilizing force in the region. It is possible, but not historically probable. We have a chance to change history by joining in prayer with all those who are truly crying out for liberty in Egypt. Ben Franklin once said, “Where liberty dwells, there is my country” – may it be so in Egypt.

2 Cor 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

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