Daily Topic for December 06, 2010
Several times in the Bible we see Egypt as a place of refuge. In Genesis it was a place for the Israelites to escape famine. In Luke, it was a place for the Holy Family to escape Herod. In 1 Kings, Egypt provided refuge for a fugitive who would ultimately split Israel into two kingdoms and introduce gross idolatry. But in today’s world, Egypt has become a place from which Shi’ite Muslims and Bahá’ís might wish to escape. What is God’s will for the Egyptian nation?
Pray that Egypt will find its role in God’s economy.
6—Bahá’ís of Egypt
Baha’is highly value peace and tolerance of other views, but they do not enjoy reciprocation from the Sunni Muslim majority in Egypt. The Baha’i faith is alive and growing in Egypt, but with a high price. Despite the Qur’anic exhortation that “There is no compulsion in religion” (Qur’an 2:256), Islamic governments commonly try to force non-Muslims to conform to their ways. According to an article in Wikepidia, “Bahá’í institutions and community activities have been illegal under Egyptian law since 1960.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD_Faith#Egypt)
In the 1990s, things became much worse for Egyptian Bahá’ís during the identification card controversy. When the Egyptian government modernized all identity documents, it became a requirement to list one’s religious affiliation. The only options given were Muslim, Christian or Jewish, the only state-recognized religions. Consequently, the Bahá’ís became citizens with no identity. Without the ID cards, they could not deal with banks, acquire passports, put their children in schools, or get medical care in hospitals. Through a prolonged legal process, the law was amended to include the Bahá’ís and other religious communities in 2009. Because of the injustices stirred up during that time, many Egyptian Bahá’ís feel as unfavorable towards Christians as they do towards Muslims and Jews.
Pray for God to raise up workers who are sensitive to the recent human rights abuses against the Egyptian Bahá’ís, yet bold enough to be able to positively represent Jesus Christ as the King and Savior of all men in all nations (Rev. 15:3).