Muslims and Christians working together. . .protecting each other. . .loving each other.
It is part of my dream.
Despite all the recent chaos in Cairo, good things are happening in Egypt. You may only see and hear stories of bloodshed (over 900 killed in the last few weeks) but God is truly working there through Muslim and Christian peacemakers.
Actually, it has been going on for a while.
Perhaps you remember Muslims acting as human shields for Coptic Christians attending Christmas mass in January of 2011 after a Coptic church had been bombed a week earlier by extremists:
Or Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers:
Or during the “Arab Spring”:
I hope you have seen more recent pictures of Muslims protecting a Catholic church during mass in Egypt:
Yes, in spite of the chaos, God is moving in the hearts of people – Muslim and Christian – in Egypt.
I just read today about the potential formation of a non-governmental organization (NGO) called “Muslims for Christians.” It has been touted by Egyptian political writer Mamoun Fandy, who believes the body could work on monitoring and documenting sectarian practices against Christians in Egypt and make “the protection of their rights a duty for every Muslim Egyptian.”
Ali Alsharnoby, an Egyptian journalist and deputy editor, wrote of an experience he had earlier this week when he heard church bells, gunshots, and screams near his home in Cairo. He ran to the church – expecting the worst since the Muslim Brotherhood had burned, attacked, or vandalized about 60 churches, killed Coptic Christians, and looted their shops in recent days.
The attacks were carried out by supporters of the Brotherhood in reaction to the brutal break-up of two protest camps in Cairo populated by supporters of the deposed President, Mohammed Morsi.
Here is Alsharnoby’s report:
“. . .thank God, I found only 3 wounded with minor injuries in the hand and the head, wounds that were the result of citizens fighting with Muslim Brotherhood members before people quickly converged on the church, forcing to Brotherhood to retreat and run away.
There were hundreds of Egyptians of all ages. . .I heard a lot of dialogues between Christians and Muslims. I felt the warmth of real cohesion and unity against the new danger, and knew that there is no difference between our needs and destiny because everyone was there to protect the House of God.
I walked among the crowds and heard a Christian man say to a Muslim one: ‘They want to make discord between us and they think we will fight each other because of what they’re doing. Let them come now to see how we stand united. They do not belong to any religion because they come to burn and destroy the House of God.’
The Muslim man replied saying: ‘My brother, we all know this, but even if this was your own home we will all defend it.’
I was very impressed and touched when I saw them hugging and kissing each other after these words.
A few moments later, some phone calls came to some of those present advising that the Brotherhood had attacked the nearby mosque, having despaired of coming back to the church. They threw stones at the mosque, shooting into the air to intimidate people inside.
I found young people of all ages making a beeline as straight as an arrow to the mosque. Many of them were Christians. . .they were running to protect the mosque from the aggressors.
I remembered the defiant words of the Orthodox Pope, uttered the day before, when he told the Muslim Brotherhood and the extremists and terrorists with them:
‘If you burn the churches we will pray with our brothers in the mosques, and if you burn the mosques, Muslims will pray with us in the church, and if you burn them both, we’re all going to pray together in the streets protecting each other.'”
Postscript: One young Egyptian businessman said, “We Muslims offered to protect churches and religious buildings, but our Christian brothers and sisters said: ‘Do not waste your souls, they are so precious to us. We have closed these buildings for now. Together we will rebuild our churches once we have eradicated terrorism.'”
In reaction to the burning of churches, a Muslim girl in Egypt made this drawing. This is the kind of love for one another that many Muslims and Christians are showing toward one another in Egypt. It is not seen or reported by much of the media but God sees it. And I think He smiles.