Friday Prayers for Egypt: Atheism and Insult

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Words injure. Ideas have consequences. Give Egypt wisdom and strength of character to tread righteously in irreligious waters.

For Charlie Hebdo insists on staying in the headlines. The head of the Azhar called for Muhammad cartoons to be ignored, while a pro-Brotherhood scholar called for demonstrations and international blasphemy laws. Many expressed anger and warned of violent reactions, even as they condemned them.

And perhaps similarly, Egypt jailed a local citizen for being an atheist. He was harassed in his home town and complained to the police, but instead wound up arrested. His father testified against him, and his incarceration will last three years. He is not the only blasphemer in prison, and others are on trial.

God, all rights come with responsibility, and the law regulates limitations. Do you have an opinion on where to draw the line?

Moreover, do you wish mankind to police your honor?

Help Egypt to process these questions, God, protecting good, preserving liberty, for individual and society alike.

Give courage to speak a rebuke. Give humility to win the recipient. Give patience to bear an insult. Give confidence to respond in love.

Give the same to Egypt’s atheists, as to those offended by them. Guide both to what is true and right. Guide all in defining their place.

You are the word, God, how you respond when injured? You are the idea, from which all consequences follow. Help Egypt imitate your character, and in you find strength.

Amen.

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