Mourning the Martyrs Issue 121
How would I react? As you read through this issue, I expect at some point you will think to yourself “how would I react if what happens to Christians in Egypt happened to me?” Most Christians in Egypt have reacted with either fear (very understandable in light of terrible atrocities) or forgiveness (difficult to understand in a human context but the call of every Christian) and I suspect you and I would also have one of those reactions were we in their shoes. We are not in their shoes but we are called to support them (and all persecuted Christians) in their time of trouble. To do so, we need to take time to understand their situation and then to pray for them. Please read through this magazine carefully and “remember those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13 v 3). To find out more about Christians in Egypt, do come and join us at our Annual Conference at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin on Saturday 9 September – we’re greatly looking forward to meeting “Michael” who will tell us lots more about our brothers and sisters in Egypt. Yours for the Persecuted,
In this issue of Church in Chains Pages 3 – 9 Pages 10 – 11 Pages 12 – 13 Page 14 Page 15 Pages 16 – 17 Page 18 Page 19
Egypt Children’s Pages – Egypt Updates – Eritrea/Iran/North Korea Prayer/Advocacy Moving Forward – New Staff Member Conference Details Autumn Events Action Page - Support Christians in Egypt
SOURCES: The main feature article on Egypt was compiled with reference to numerous sources including Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, Bible Society of Egypt, Christianity Today, Identity Crisis – Religious Registration in the Middle East (Jonathan Andrews), Sat-7, Watani, World Watch Monitor.
COVER IMAGE: Mourners in Minya at the funeral of Christians killed in an ambush on a bus carrying pilgrims to the Monastery of St Samuel in May 2017. Photo Credit: Amr Nabil/Associated Press
Christians under attack Since December 2016, when 23 Christians were killed in a bomb attack at St Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt’s Christians have been under severe threat. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Egypt terrorist group (linked to the Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria). In February, the terrorists issued a propaganda video stating that they would wipe out Egypt’s Christians, describing them as their “favourite prey”. On Palm Sunday, 49 people were killed and over 120 others were injured when suicide bombers attacked two Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria. In May, militants armed with machine guns killed 30 Copts in an attack on a convoy of buses carrying pilgrims to St Samuel Monastery in Minya, southern Egypt. Islamic State of Egypt claimed both attacks. It is believed that the attacks come from a hatred of Christians, whom Islamists view as “infidels”, and also because Christians supported President al-Sisi when he came to power in 2013. President al-Sisi, then General al-Sisi, ousted President Mohammed Morsi from power after millions of protestors across Egypt called for him to resign. In turn, supporters of President Morsi protested at his ousting and it was these protests that Irish-Egyptian teenager Ibrahim Hallawa (son of Sheikh Hussein, the imam of Dublin’s Clonskeagh mosque) was caught up in. Ibrahim Hallawa has been held in prison ever since. The recent deadly attacks have greatly heightened fears within the Christian community, which is the largest (in numbers and per cent) in the Middle East. The Coptic Orthodox Church, which is the largest church, proudly traces its roots back to St Mark and members often point out that Egypt was majority Christian long before the coming of Islam. Christians have grown used to suffering discrimination: they are • PILGRIM BUS seldom allowed to build or repair churches Aftermath of attack and while the state facilitates conversion to Photo: AP Islam, it prohibits conversion from Islam to Christianity which means that Christian converts cannot have ID cards that show their new faith.
ThreeReacting Presidents three withinfear andyears defiance In July, SAT-7 Egypt’s Communications Officer Mary Joseph (pictured), who is based in Cairo, wrote about Egyptian Christians’ heightened fears in a blog post, Living as a target for terrorists. (SAT-7 is a Christian satellite TV ministry in the Middle East and North Africa.) Mary Joseph lost her aunt and cousin in an explosion, and another aunt was badly injured and remains bedridden in hospital. She wrote, “There was a new routine on Palm Sunday this year. On a day when many families in Egypt usually go to church together to celebrate, families were separating: going to attend mass in twos and threes in different churches. One parent would take one or two children; the other would take the rest. This new pattern is a precaution some are taking so that at least some of the family will survive in the event of a bomb attack.” Concerning her own fears, she wrote, “My church, which has two doors, keeps one of them locked while the other one has a metal detector gate where all who enter must pass through. The traffic authorities have also closed off part of the street leading to the church gates for extra security… All these security measures around me add to my fear instead of making me feel secure… No matter what kind of security there is, it will not change the mentality of a suicide attacker or prevent them. I’ve made my trips to the church less and have become very selective where I go.”
• ARMED GUARD
Outside Coptic church Photo: Mohamed Abd El Ghany
After Easter, Ehab el-Kharrat, an elder at Kasr el-Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, who is also a psychiatrist and a former member of parliament, said the traumatic impact of the attacks and subsequent forgiveness have revived the Coptic church. “The Coptic community is definitely in defiance,” he said. “The services of Holy Week have doubled in attendance, and the churches are flowing out into the streets.”
Pray… for comfort, encouragement and strength for Christians in Egypt.
Reacting with forgiveness Following the Palm Sunday bombings of churches in Tanta and Alexandria, prominent talk show host Amr Adeeb watched a colleague in Alexandria interview the widow of Naseem Faheem, one of four police guards killed at St Mark’s Cathedral, and expressed amazement at her strength and forgiveness. The police guards died • WIDOW’S TV INTERVIEW when a suicide bomber detonated Made huge impact his bomb after they stopped him Photo: ONTV entering, thus saving the lives of dozens in the cathedral. Faheem’s widow said, “I’m not angry at the one who did this. I’m telling him, ‘May God forgive you, and we also forgive you.’” After a long pause, Adeeb exclaimed, “The Copts of Egypt are made of steel!” He added, “How great is this forgiveness you have!” In May, after militants killed thirty Copts in an attack on a convoy of buses in Minya, southern Egypt, a government minister visited survivors in hospital. One woman told him, “Don’t worry about me, I am worried about you! I am worried about where you will go after you die!” Those around the minister apologised, saying the woman was distraught, but she replied, “No! I am in my right mind. I’ve lost eleven members of my family and I have nothing else to lose! But I am at peace knowing they are in heaven. But what about you? Have you read the Bible?”
• BUS ATTACK VICTIMS
Hospital interviews Photo: Mesat Live
Michael Atef Munir, the son of a bus attack victim, announced in early July that he would donate his share of the government money set aside for relatives of victims (100,000 Egyptian pounds, approximately €4,737) to be split between a church and a mosque in Minya province, where his father was killed. Munir made his announcement during a service for victims at the Monastery of St Samuel, which had been the intended destination of the bus convoy. He said the gesture was to make clear that the terrorists’ attempt to divide Copts and Muslims has had the opposite effect.
Pray… that the powerful message of forgiveness will have a great impact in Egypt.
Summer activities cancelled after threats In mid-July, Egyptian churches cancelled all summer activities for at least three weeks apart from church services, following an Interior Ministry warning of Islamist attacks. Popular summer activities include camps, outings and visits to monasteries and conferences. The Interior Ministry sent letters to churches saying investigations revealed that Islamist terrorists were planning nationwide attacks against the military, police and churches. The Ministry asked churches to take precautionary measures for • SUMMER CAMP three weeks and until further notice and said all Photo: Bible Society of Egypt trips and gatherings should be cancelled. Interior Minister General Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said security would be intensified on all public buildings in Egypt, including churches and monasteries, and that security staff would be aided by the military and would be provided with resources such as weapons, armoured vehicles, police dogs and surveillance cameras. The heads of the Coptic, Catholic and Evangelical churches responded to the warning by cancelling all summer activities and telling those at camps to come home.
• YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONFERENCE
Photo: World Watch Monitor
Rev Dr Andrea Zaki, President of the Protestant Community of Egypt and General Director of the Coptic Evangelical Organisation for Social Services, said in a statement: “In light of recent developments, please stop all church trips and conferences for the next three weeks of July 2017. This is a serious matter.” Coptic Orthodox spokesman Fr Boules Halim and Egyptian Catholic church spokesman Fr Rafik Greish said their denominations were issuing similar instructions.
A Christian preacher commented: “We are aware of the deep security concerns of the movement in buses of Christian groups or the assembly in Christian conference centres and we are going to submit to the instructions of the security authorities… but we will pray more, we will even do more than we usually do but in a different way. We will not let those instructions put us down or plant fear in our hearts.” Pray… that God would protect Egyptian Christians from attack and give them wisdom and peace.
Discrimination against Christians Egypt’s Christians have long been used to being treated as second-class citizens. Churches have found it almost impossible to obtain government permits to construct new buildings and repair existing ones because building a church required a presidential permit and years of paperwork, while the authorities procrastinated and sidelined applications. In contrast, building a mosque required only a regular planning permit. Christians suspected of carrying • COPTS (KOM EL-LOUFY) out unauthorised repairs or using homes for Waiting to worship church services have been attacked by Photo: Copts United Muslim mobs. The village of Kom El-Loufy in Minya province, Upper Egypt is home to about 1,800 Copts. An official application to build a church in the village was first filed ten years ago but still has not been granted. When the Copts met for an Easter celebration this year, Muslim villagers gathered in front of the house where the celebration was being held, attacked those present and burned down three homes. Egypt does not allow anyone who is born a Muslim to change the religious identity on their ID card to Christian, whereas it is a simple procedure to change from Christian to Muslim. Egyptian citizens are required to carry ID cards stating their religion, and this prohibition causes difficulties in many aspects of life for Christians who are former Muslims (including church attendance, employment, travel, marriage, registration of • IDENTITY CARD children and education). Christian converts are Source of problems often forced to choose between continuing to Photo: Al Jazeera be officially identified as a Muslim or obtaining forged documents showing their Christian identity. The kidnapping of teenage Christian girls is a continuing social problem in Egypt, and Christians protest that the police fail to act when such kidnappings are reported. Invariably, the accused man’s family and friends say that the Christian girl converted to Islam of her own free will and the police then tell the girl’s family that they can do nothing. In the vast majority of cases, the Christian girl remains with the Muslim community.
Pray… that Christians will be treated fairly in Egypt.
“We need more than at any time
“Michael” from Egypt (pseudonym used for security reasons) will be the guest speaker at the Church in Chains conference at the Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin on Saturday 9 September (more details on pages 16 and 17). Michael is on the leadership team of an evangelical ministry that serves, supports and mobilises local churches throughout Egypt. David Turner recently spoke to him by phone about life in Egypt.
How did God lead you into this ministry? I was seeking God’s face and guidance to know how to be an effective part of the Kingdom work and I came across the ministry to the local church in Egypt, which I identified with. I felt the tremendous need for the Egyptian church to be strengthened in view of the unprecedented pressures, threats and attacks it is facing. I felt God calling me to be a part of that kingdom mission to focus on the local church and “strengthen what remains which is at the point of death” as it says in the book of Revelation.
What effect have the attacks over the past year had on the lives of Egyptian Christians? Many people in the Christian community (and by that I mean people who may not be truly committed Christians) are scared and afraid – especially since the Islamic State movement announced that it is directly targeting Egyptian Christians. However, there is also a very large number of born-again Christians of all denominations including from the Coptic Orthodox church and the Catholic Church who are able to lift their eyes up and see that God is there and although they live under the firing of the enemy, there is an opportunity for the church to show light and hope. This is a time of harvest because the more the flames of the church are increasing the more eyes and hearts are open to the amazing message of love and forgiveness.
in history to stand together” Is the Egyptian government doing its best to protect Christians in Egypt? The situation in Egypt is quite complex because although we believe in general that the Egyptian government is trying hard to stop those attacks on churches and Christian communities, instructions are not always carried out at local level because of the mindset of local officials. Many Muslims believe that Christians are infidels, people without faith or with a distorted faith. They believe that Christians read a corrupt Bible and worship three Gods. They know that Christians believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross while Muslims do not. This mindset is behind the way many Muslims (including some fanatic people in authority) treat Christians. This cannot be a generalisation, of course, because there are a good number of people in authority, including President al-Sisi himself, who show respect to the Christian community and are keen on protecting the Christians.
What message do you want to bring from the church in Egypt to the church in Ireland? My message – and I will repeat it when I come – is that when God looks at the church he doesn’t see an Irish church versus an Egyptian church, he just sees one redeemed church, and that the geographical separation is only in our minds and on our maps; we as Christians need to realise the amazing dimension of how extended God’s church is over the world, and look forward to the day when we will all rise up at the call of Jesus to join one big church and there will be people from east and west, north and south, every tribe, tongue, every culture, and we will not be defined by our nationality. So my message to the Irish church is: we need more than at any time in history to stand together, to join hands, consider one another as brothers and sisters and to pray for one another. The enemy is fighting not against the Egyptian church separately, nor against the Irish church separately, but rather fighting against the whole church.
HEY KIDS – LET’S How many Christians are there? Most Egyptians are Muslims, but about one tenth are Christians (about nine million). There are far more Christians in Egypt than in other Middle Eastern countries, and they are proud of their history. Ancient tradition says the gospel writer Mark brought Christianity to Egypt some years after Jesus died and rose again. Most Christians are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, with small numbers belonging to other kinds of churches. The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church is Pope Tawadros II (pictured), who trained as a pharmacist and managed a pharmaceutical factory before becoming a priest. The word Copt means Egyptian.
Why are Christians being attacked? A terrorist group called Islamic State of Egypt wants to get rid of Christians so there will only be Muslims in Egypt. It is linked to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In February, the group posted a video saying it would wipe out Egypt’s Christians. Since December, its members have killed over one hundred Christians and injured many others. They bombed three churches in December and April (St Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, a church in the city of Tanta and a cathedral in Alexandria) and in May they attacked buses bringing Christians to a monastery in southern Egypt.
How is the government protecting Christians? President al-Sisi (pictured) has promised to protect Christians. The government provides police guards at church buildings and some churches have metal detectors at the gates. In April, four brave police guards – one man and three women – stopped a bomber who was trying to enter St Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria. The guards were all killed, along with 18 other people, but they saved the lives of many Christians inside the church. In July, the government told church leaders to cancel all special summer events like camps or outings because it had learned that terrorists were planning more attacks.
PRAY FOR EGYPT Are Egyptian Christians afraid? Yes, Egyptian Christians are afraid of more attacks, but they keep going to church because they are determined to follow Jesus and not give in to terrorists. After the bus attack in May, a Christian TV channel that operates in north Africa and the Middle East broadcast a special episode of its show Why Is That? to let Egyptian Christian children talk about their fears. Many children called in to the live show to tell host Essam Nagy (pictured) that they forgave the killers and would pray for them. Essam prayed with the children. He told them God hears their cries and will never abandon them.
Whatâ€™s the problem about church buildings? For many years, Christians have found it almost impossible to get government permission to build or repair churches, because building or repairing needed a presidential permit and years of paperwork. Building a mosque just needs a regular planning permit. This kind of unfair treatment is called discrimination. In 2016, parliament passed new laws to make it quicker and easier to get permission to build and repair churches. Itâ€™s not clear yet if this is going to help. Muslim mobs have attacked Christians they suspect of using homes for church services or building or repairing churches without permits.
A Prayer for Egypt Dear God, Please bless Egyptian Christians and protect them from attack. We ask you to help the government and the police to provide security for Christians, and we pray for peace. Please comfort all those whose loved ones have been killed. We pray especially for Egyptian children who are sad or scared or who have been injured in attacks. Help them to remember that you hear their cries and you are always with them. We pray also for Egyptian churches and ask that the new laws would make it easier to get permission for building and repairs. Amen
Eritrean Patriarch appears in public d a t e s
Patriarch Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church attended a service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Asmara on Sunday 16 July, his first public appearance since the government deposed him in 2006 and placed him under incommunicado house arrest. He was deposed for resisting the government’s order to excommunicate over 3,000 members of the Orthodox Church’s Bible study renewal movement and for asking President Afewerki to release some Christian prisoners.
Patriarch Antonios (90) was loved and respected, and his government-approved replacement was never fully accepted by Orthodox Church members, though he was supported by Orthodox bishops. Since the replacement’s death in 2015, Orthodox leaders sought to end division through a “reconciliation process” with Patriarch Antonios. During the service, a deacon read out an announcement stating that the purpose of the event was to celebrate reconciliation within the church. The Patriarch was not allowed to speak at the service and after the service he was returned to incommunicado house arrest.
Christian woman dies in prison camp In early August, mother-of-three Fikadu Debesay died in Metkel Abiet prison camp in Eritrea’s hot, arid Northern Red Sea Region. She died of untreated kidney disease. Security officials had arrested Fikadu, her husband and 33 other Christians in May in the southern town of Adi Quala, following house-tohouse searches during which everyone in Adi Quala was forced to state their religion. Officials arrested all who said they were Pentecostal. Fikadu was one of at least 210 Christians detained in a crackdown on nonsanctioned churches that began in May. Detainees include 49 evangelicals arrested at a marriage celebration in Asmara and 16 female national service conscripts in their late teens arrested at their place of assignment – family members who tried to visit the teenagers were also imprisoned. 33 women are being held in Nakura, a notoriously harsh island prison in the Red Sea. Many are young mothers whose husbands are military conscripts; their arrests leave fifty children without parental care. (Asmarino/Christian Solidarity Worldwide/Open Doors/Release Eritrea/UNHRC)
News in Brief Maryam Zargaran released in Iran On 1 August, house-church member Maryam Naghash Zargaran (38) was released from Evin Prison in Tehran. Maryam had been serving a fouryear sentence for “propaganda against the Islamic regime”, imposed because of her conversion from Islam and her Christian activities. Maryam’s sentence expired on 5 June 2017 but additional time was added in respect of medical leave that had been granted for several serious incidents of severe ill-health during her imprisonment, including being rushed to hospital in a critical condition in May 2016. Maryam suffers from heart disease and had a heart attack in prison in September 2013. During her imprisonment she also suffered from several other illnesses. David Yeghnazar, Executive Director of Elam Ministries, said: “I would like to encourage ongoing prayer for Maryam’s physical and emotional restoration after this time of intense trial and suffering, as well as for wisdom as she looks to the future.” (Mohabat News/World Watch Monitor)
Hyeun-soo Lim released in North Korea On 9 August, Canadian pastor Hyeunsoo Lim (62) was released on “sick bail” after two and a half years in labour camp in North Korea. Pastor Lim was arrested in North Korea in February 2015 while on a humanitarian mission, and in December 2015 he was sentenced to life in prison with hard labour. His surprise release came after the Canadian government sent a special envoy to Pyongyang. Joyfully reunited with his church on 13 August, the pastor described digging holes for eight hours a day, including when the ground was frozen in winter. He spoke of “overwhelming loneliness” and of eating 2,757 meals in isolation, not knowing how or when his ordeal would end. During the first two months his health suffered badly and he lost 23 kg (3 ½ stone), and for the first year he had no Bible. He then received Korean and English Bibles, which he read five times, memorising more than seven hundred verses. (CBC/CNN/Toronto Star)
Praying in Greystones Miriam Beattie is well-known among Irish Christians for her commitment to prayer and campaigning on many moral and social issues. For many years, she has had a deep concern for persecuted Christians around the world and she and her husband Doug host a monthly meeting (on the second Monday) at their home in Delgany to pray specifically for persecuted Christians. Many who come have been involved for many years while others have joined more recently. Miriam texts a reminder to everyone in advance of the meeting and members join in prayer using materials from many sources including Church in Chains magazine and the weekly Church in Chains email update. Each evening ends with fellowship over a cup of tea. The group would love to welcome new members – contact Miriam (01-687 3183) for more details.
UN Rapporteur visits Dublin Dr Ahmad Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief (pictured with David Turner, Director, Church in Chains), told an audience in Dublin in June of the considerable challenges that exist for religious freedom in the world. Speaking at the Human Rights and Religions Summer School at Trinity College, Dr Shaheed, who is a former foreign minister in the government of the Maldives, underlined the fundamental importance of understanding that individuals and not religions are the holders of the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB). He also said that FORB is not meaningful unless it includes the right to change one’s religion. Outlining some of the current challenges to FORB, he drew attention to the persecution of Christians in India, increasing reports of sectarian attacks in Sri Lanka, the ongoing persecution of Ahmadiya Muslims in Pakistan and the Baha’is in Iran.
New Staff Member We are delighted to announce that the Church in Chains trustees have appointed a part-time Operations Co-ordinator to the staff, on a two-year contract. The trustees were keenly aware of the increasing workload on Virginia and David and the consequent lack of time and opportunity to focus on developing the work in several areas. Susie Chipperfield will take up the role at the beginning of October (working from home) and will be responsible for all the day-to-day administration of the charity, including finance, and developing communications, including social media. She has been working as a Search Data Editor with Getty Images and previously worked as a Supporter Relations Coordinator at World Vision Ireland. We welcome Susie to the team and thank God for this development, which is funded by a legacy. Susie is a sister-in-law of Virginia and David.
Church in Chains joins iMap Church in Chains has recently joined iMap (Irish Mission Agencies Partnership). iMap is an initiative joining together Irish mission agencies and the Irish Church. Its strapline is “Resourcing world mission together.” Membership of iMap will give greater visibility to the work of Church in Chains and the opportunity to network with other groups. iMap can also channel gifts from donors to Church in Chains. More information about iMap at imap.ie
Thank You to Anonymous From time to time, Church in Chains receives gifts (in collection plates, in the post, via bank transfer) of which the donor has chosen to remain anonymous. Some other donors send gifts with instructions such as “no receipt need”. In such situations, we don’t have the opportunity to thank the donor and let them know how much we appreciate their support for our work. Therefore, for anyone who has given in this way, please accept our thanks. Your support is a great encouragement.
Come to the Conference This year, our Annual Conference returns to last year’s venue, the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley in Dublin (close to Junction 7 on the M50). We hope to see you there.
GETTING THERE From North or South: Join the M50. Leave at Junction 7 (signed Sligo/Westport/ Galway), continuing on N4 for 1km. Leave N4 at Junction 2, where hotel will be visible on left. From West: Join the N4 Eastbound. Leave N4 at Junction 2 (signed Fonthill/Liffey Valley). After crossing bridge over N4, hotel will be visible on left. From M50: Leave at Junction 7 (signed Sligo/Westport/Galway), continuing on N4 for 1km. Leave N4 at Junction 2, where hotel will be visible on left.
Buses from Dublin city centre: 25, 25a, 25b, 66, 66a, 66b and 67. PARKING Free parking in hotel car park for all conference delegates. When entering, take ticket at automatic barrier and exchange it at conference registration desk for pre-paid exit ticket. STAYING IN HOTEL Overnight accommodation is available at the hotel on Friday and Saturday nights at a special rate. To book, phone 01– 625 8000 quoting Church in Chains conference. EATING Complimentary tea and biscuits from 10.30am, and at the end of the conference. Lunch will be from 12.45 – 2.00 and may be ordered in advance at registration desk.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan to attend, it would be very helpful if you could let us know (see Response Form).
CHURCH IN CHAINS CONFERENCE Sat 9 September 11am – 4pm Clarion Hotel Liffey Valley, Dublin “Michael” (Egypt)
“Michael” is a leader in a national ministry with many contacts in the Coptic Orthodox and Evangelical Churches. He will give a dynamic presentation outlining the pressures on the church in Egypt.
ALL WELCOME – ADMISSION FREE Info: www.churchinchains.ie or 01-282 5393
Autumn Events Saturday 30 September
Corcaghan Gospel Concert
The annual Gospel Concert in aid of the Persecuted Church will be held at Corcaghan Community Centre, Co. Monaghan on Saturday 30 September at 8pm. The concert of Christian music will feature Kathryn Mitchell (pictured), the Ballybay Country Gospel Group, Janice Anderson and Parker Donnelly. Come along for a great night of music; the evening will also include a Church in Chains presentation on Eritrea. Admission is free â€“ a collection will be taken in aid of a project to support persecuted Christians in Eritrea, where there is severe repression and many Christians are in prison. Previous concerts have raised funds for projects to support persecuted Christians in China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Pakistan. Further details from Cecil or Iris Deering (049â€“555 2484).
Sunday 19 November
International Day of Prayer
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) will be marked on Sunday 19 November. Churches all over Ireland will devote time during their services on that day to pray for the Persecuted Church. The focus in Ireland will be on Iran, where we will be praying for the church and especially for those Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith.
Church in Chains will provide three resources for IDOP: Bookmark with Prayer Points for each person in church Information Sheet for those leading prayers PowerPoint slide presentation (approximately two minutes). Please ask your church leader to mark this date in your church diary NOW (if date not suitable, choose another Sunday in November) and tick the box on the enclosed response form to order these resources (available from mid-October).
Support Christians in Egypt Today in Egypt many Christians, living under threat of attack, are looking for support, encouragement, teaching and guidance. This is being provided in different ways including by SAT-7 (Christian satellite television station that broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa) and the ministry of encouragement with which “Michael” our conference speaker is involved. SAT-7 is viewed regularly by 5.5 million people in Egypt (7.7% of the population) according to a recent independent survey. Its programmes of faith and hope are very attractive to many in Egypt (both Christian and Muslim). SAT-7 has also broadcast special programmes dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Egypt. Such coverage is of huge importance to the Christian community in Egypt, allowing Christians the freedom to express their grief and shock. SAT-7 also broadcasts current affairs programmes examining the issues behind such attacks and children’s programmes where children have the opportunity to voice their fears and concerns to their favourite presenters. SAT-7 is widely respected as a trusted and helpful source of balance, understanding and support for Christians in Egypt as well as sharing the good news of Jesus. Michael’s ministry operates at local church level around Egypt with the same aim of bringing encouragement and support to Christians and equipping the local church to be a good witness of the Lord Jesus in its particular location. Further details of Michael’s work will be shared at the Church in Chains conference but cannot be printed here for security reasons.
Will you support Christians in Egypt? Please give, as you are able, to support our brothers and sisters in Egypt. Your gift will be used, without any deduction, to support the two ministries described above.
Two Ways to Give 1. Use the Response Form to send your gift by post (cheque or postal money order) 2.
Donate online via PayPal (visit our website www.churchinchains.ie)
An independent Irish charity that encourages prayer and action in support of persecuted Christians worldwide.
PRAYER NETWORK DUBLIN CITY First Friday night of the month at Grace Bible Fellowship, Pearse St. Contact David Turner 01-282 5393 MIDLANDS REGION Rotates between Athlone, Ballinasloe, Banagher, Birr, Longford, Mullingar, Roscommon, Tullamore. Contact Seรกn ร Cluaid 090-647 5410 CORWILLIS Olive Sturgeon 047 55137 DUNDALK Kevin Marley 085 7405004 GALWAY Frank McMurray 091 755 360
TRUSTEES Pamela Coulter (Secretary) David Franklin (Chair) Davood Mahmoodnezhd
GREYSTONES Miriam Beattie 01 687 3183 098 27110 WESTPORT Roy Rohu Mary Gill 087 785 7671 WEXFORD
Jim McGing Keith Talbot (Treasurer)
PANEL OF REFERENCE Bishop Ken Clarke Pastor Vincent Gannon Rev Nigel Mackey
Church in Chains is entirely supported by voluntary donations. Gifts are used to pay for all the necessary expenses, including salaries, associated with our campaigning work and to distribute grants to overseas partners in China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Syria and Turkey. Cheques etc should be made payable to Church in Chains. Bank Details: IBAN : IE22 IPBS 9906 1020 1759 05 BIC : IPBSIE2D Details about standing orders, legacies and tax-efficient giving available on request.
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Church in Chains magazine is published four times a year and is edited by David Turner and Virginia Chipperfield.
Published on Aug 30, 2017
The impact of recent terrorist attacks on Christians in Egypt is described in this issue which also focuses on the reaction of Christians to...