Tagged with Egypt

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Old Things

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Old Things

God,  So much in Egypt is old. Some gets preserved. Some gets restored.  All is its heritage. Honor and judge appropriately.   Over the past few weeks many Pharaonic artefacts have been discovered. Mummies, statues, funerary cartouches. Let Egypt celebrate, God, and the world with her. Some are inspiring, some are mishandled. Help archaeology support the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Azhar Blasphemy

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Azhar Blasphemy

God, The Azhar defends Islam. The state defends the law. You defend your name. Together, may Egypt find its way. The grand imam fired the Azhar University president for calling a prominent critic an infidel. The minister of endowments censured a preacher for calling Christians unbelievers. The critic had been convicted of blasphemy, later pardoned. … Continue reading

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

Pope Francis, Islam, and Peace-Building

This interview was first published at Informed Comment. Dr. Kamal Boraiqa is a lecturer at al-Azhar University and a member of al-Azhar Center for Dialogue, the al-Azhar Observer for Combating Extremism, and the Egyptian Family House. With a PhD from al-Azhar in Islamic Studies, he has served as an imam at the Santa Rosa Islamic … Continue reading

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

Copts Pick Up the Pieces: An Interview with Bishop Thomas

A condensed version of this interview was first published at The Media Project on May 4, 2017. Coptic Christians, the Middle East’s largest Christian community, account for roughly ten percent of Egypt’s population and have endured generations of exclusion and restrictions. Their struggles for equality have been aggravated by a series of gruesome and deadly … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Judges, Tribes

God, Two feuds escalated this week. One reached a preliminary conclusion, the other a concerning jolt. It may not be proper to pray mend the fences, but rather in wisdom to put all things right. After months of debate and clear judicial opposition, the president signed a parliament-ratified bill to select the chief judge of … Continue reading

Is Sufism the Answer to Extremism in Egypt?

Is Sufism the Answer to Extremism in Egypt?

This article was first published at al-Monitor. If the Egyptian government wants to combat the spread of radical religious ideology, it would do well to return to its Muslim roots. At a conference held at the headquarters of the Azamiyah Order in Cairo on April 21, which Al-Monitor attended, presenters argued that Sufi Islam is the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Pope

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Pope

God, The pope is here. Of course, Egypt already has a pope. But this one is different. To most Egyptian Christians he is not. In the ancient world Rome and Alexandria were equals. But since then the Tiber has far eclipsed the Nile. God, to you your church is one. Give humility to one and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Aya, Easter

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Aya, Easter

God, Easter passed peacefully, but not Egypt. Though there were no troubles on the holiday, others sandwiched. A few days earlier Copts praying in a village were pelted with stones, as police looked on. A few days later terrorism struck at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the southern Sinai, as police responded. One officer died, a … Continue reading

ISIS Attacks Major Christian Monastery in Egypt

ISIS Attacks Major Christian Monastery in Egypt

This article was first published by Christianity Today on April 19, 2017. Two weeks after killing 47 Egyptians in twin church bombings on Palm Sunday, the Islamic State claimed a fresh attack on the ancient monastery of St. Catherine on the southern Sinai peninsula. One policeman was killed and four injured during an exchange of … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Palm Sunday

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Palm Sunday

God, Easter is coming. May it be safe for Egyptian Christians. Sunday is coming, and Monday after that, and Tuesday… May it be safe for Egyptians. Forty-five people are dead after twin suicide bombings at churches on the start of Holy Week. Among them are Muslims, though only one faith was targeted. This time. Some … Continue reading

An Eye on Egypt after the Palm Sunday Bombings

An Eye on Egypt after the Palm Sunday Bombings

This article was first published at Providence Magazine. Episode one. “They are just following the teachings of their book, and the example of their prophet,” said a Coptic friend following the twin church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing dozens. I refrained from rolling my eyes, as this was a moment for … Continue reading

They Will Know We are Christians by Our Drinks

They Will Know We are Christians by Our Drinks

This article was first published in the April print edition of Christianity Today. The deadliest incident faced by the persecuted church last Christmas wasn’t radical Islamists. It was alcohol. Liquor mixed with aftershave killed about 50 people at Christmas parties in a Pakistani village, and sickened about 100 more. In Pakistan, as in many Muslim-majority … Continue reading

Does Egypt Still Matter?

Does Egypt Still Matter?

As America under Trump re-determines its policies in the Middle East, the feelings of the region’s people matter very little. ‘Hearts and minds,’ sure, but cold-calculating interests generally rule geopolitical considerations. All the same, I can imagine the Egyptian angst in reading this recommendation by the Hoover Institute for Washington to re-up its cooperation with … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Bread and Entry

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Bread and Entry

God, Facing a severe decline in tourism, Egypt doubles the entry fee. Facing corruption in the bread market, Egypt scales back supply. Both decisions can be seen as sensible, God, but outcry is loud and execution haphazard. Give wisdom for right policy. Immediately the government postponed the visa price hike, and hints a final decision … Continue reading