Before Egypt Votes, Christians Pray

Today Egypt witnessed a historic referendum over a highly disputed constitution. Two days earlier, Christians placed their nation in the hands of God.

Many did so hoping for a miracle. Egypt’s churches earlier withdrew from the committee writing the constitution, finding their voice sidelined amidst an Islamist super-majority. Noteworthy, however, was that not one speaker prayed against the constitution. Instead, they asked God to be with Egypt, give her peace and stability, and bless Islamists in particular.

I will save more description for a few articles I hope to write in the coming days, but here is the essential fact: About 10,000 Christians from all Egyptian denominations interceded with God for their nation. Slightly less than half of these spent the whole night in prayer.

Here are the pictures, with links to video interspersed:

The entrance to a church, carved into a cave. It is a magnificent modern facility on an ancient Coptic site, where God saved his people by splitting the mountain in half.

The entrance to a church, carved into a cave. It is a magnificent modern facility on an ancient Coptic site, where God saved his people by splitting the mountain in half.

Throughout the area stone carvings illustrate Biblical scenes. This one overlooks those worshiping.

Throughout the area stone carvings illustrate Biblical scenes. This one overlooks those worshiping.

The church is led by Fr. Simaan (Simon), who serves the Christian garbage collectors among whom he built this church.

The church is led by Fr. Simaan (Simon), who serves the Christian garbage collectors among whom he built this church.

Most Egyptian Christians are Orthodox, and there has been tension between them and other denominations. Fr. Simaan's heart is for Christian unity, however, and he organizes many meetings with Rev. Sameh Maurice, lead pastor of the largest Protestant Church in the Middle East.

Most Egyptian Christians are Orthodox, and there has been tension between them and other denominations. Fr. Simaan’s heart is for Christian unity, however, and he organizes many meetings with Rev. Sameh Maurice, lead pastor of the largest Protestant Church in the Middle East.

Fr. Simaan's church is fully Orthodox - note the icons - but incorporates modern evangelical features such as a praise team.

Fr. Simaan’s church is fully Orthodox – note the icons – but incorporates modern evangelical features such as a praise team.

Please click here for a medley of Arabic praise songs from the meeting. It includes the crowd’s favorite – chanting Yesuu’ (Jesus) over and over again.

This particular choir was composed of members from various churches, of different denominations. All worship leaders, as well as speakers, however, were Orthodox.

This particular choir was composed of members from various churches, of different denominations. All worship leaders, as well as speakers, however, were Orthodox.

An Orthodox mass is a solemn, holy event. Many, however, have learned how to shout to the Lord in praise.

An Orthodox mass is a solemn, holy event. Many, however, have learned how to shout to the Lord in praise.

One of the purposes of the event, besides praying for Egypt, was to broadcast the love Copts have for their nation. Note how many Egyptian flags filled the auditorium.

One of the purposes of the event, besides praying for Egypt, was to broadcast the love Copts have for their nation. Note how many Egyptian flags filled the auditorium.

Please click here for a variation on the above link. One of the speaking priests urged the audience to add the word ‘Masr’ (Egypt) to their ‘Jesus’ chant. Boisterously, they went back and forth.

Here are a few pictures showing the size of the crowd:

Crowd 5

Crowd 4

Crowd 6

The praise segment of the evening went from 6pm to about midnight. Thereafter the prayer took a more Coptic feel, with traditional hymns lasting until 6am, followed by morning mass.

The praise segment of the evening went from 6pm to about midnight. Thereafter the prayer took a more Coptic feel, with traditional hymns lasting until 6am, followed by morning mass.

Please click here to watch this choir perform and the crowd chant along.

Finally, this is about the size of the crowd that stayed to worship throughout the night.

Finally, this is about the size of the crowd that stayed to worship throughout the night.

Only God knows what is best for Egypt in terms of this current constitution. But may he honor the prayers of this community, of Muslims, and of Islamists, who pray for the peace of Egypt.

Advertisements

What's your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s