According to the U.S. Department of State, the population of 106 million is approximately 90% Muslim and 10% Christian. Of the 10.6 million Christians, the vast majority belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Despite threats of persecution, the faithful are ready to celebrate Orthodox Easter on Sunday, April 16.
Some still mourn a 2016 suicide bombing at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Cairo, which killed 29 and injured 47 others.
One of our local partners recently met with believers in Egypt to learn about their daily struggles, as well as their beautiful perspectives on this most holy of days.
What are the biggest challenges for Christians in Egypt today?
“The biggest challenges for Christians in Egypt today are discrimination and marginalization,” states Youssef A. “Christians are deprived of many leadership positions. There is a reluctance to accept Christians in certain places, such as military colleges and the police academy. They suffer clearly in obtaining some of their rights.”
What does Easter mean to you?
Fady E., a local believer, says, “Easter and the Resurrection is the hope, the victory over death, the redemption, salvation and life. Many thought Christ was defeated when He died on the cross, and they said He could not save Himself, but He conquered death and rose and raised us with Him. They thought that Christ was defeated on the cross, but He turned this into a victory in His resurrection.”
What do you love most about Easter?
“I remember the whole redemption story—the price paid for me was very precious,” shares Mina A., a believer and local businessman. “I know that I am very dear to God, I’m precious in His eyes, and I’m valuable to Him. Sometimes we doubt God’s love for us because of our sins, but He loves us very much. His love for us is unconditional, a love that exceeds the love of parents for their children. He gave Himself for us, became incarnate, died and rose from the dead for our salvation. This is the greatest love.”
Do you fear attending Palm Sunday or Easter services because of all you have been through?
“I don’t fear attending Palm Sunday or Easter services,” answers Nadia S., a brave widow whose husband was killed in the St. Peter and St. Paul church bombing in Cairo in 2016. “Nothing can prevent me from going to my church—I love it so much.”
What is one of your favorite Bible verses?
“My favorite Bible verse is ‘The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want,’” states Samir I., a fervent believer. “I have touched this verse in my life. God always keeps me and cares for me. He has delivered me from any evil. I desire nothing more than what the Lord—my Shepherd—gives me. God is good all the time.”
What makes your faith so resilient and strong?
Answers Marian S., a Christian teacher, “My strong belief in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And my belief in His crucifixion, death, resurrection and second coming.”
Please join the team at Global Christian Relief as we pray for the safety and protection of the persecuted church in Egypt. Ask God to place a hedge of protection around these believers as they celebrate Easter and keep them in His perfect peace. He is risen!