Editor's Note: The following analysis about the horrific violence across Egypt was written by a Christian leader in Egypt. He is unnamed due to security concerns.
The words are heavy to put together this morning. The sad day of Wednesday resulted in a sleepless night not only for me, but also for millions of Christian and Muslim Egyptians who love this country and genuinely seek its good and welfare. It was a day of many tears, pain and agony for what Egypt witnessed for the violence that resulted.
According to an official report of the Egyptian Ministry of Health, there have been at least 235 deaths and 2,001 injuries. The number of casualties and injuries reported by the Muslim Brotherhood and promoted by Al-Jazeera and other Muslim Brotherhood-supporting media channels are of course much higher.
This is not the time to sit at a discussion table to decide who is right and who is wrong or what should or should not have been done in the first place. The issue now is not, either, to decide whether Muslim Brotherhood protesters who were forced to leave Rabaa-el Adawia and Nahda Squares (where they have camped and blocked the streets for the last 45 days) were peaceful protesters who had a legitimate political case to defend or were not.
I can pretty much go further to say that it's not even the time to weep over tens of churches, Christian buildings, schools, Bible bookshops, shops and houses of Christians that have never systematically been targeted, looted, attacked or burnt down like what happened yesterday in Minya, Assiut, Sohag and several other cities.
The murder last week of the 10-year-old girl, Jessica Boulos, as she was walking back home from her Bible study class at one of Cairo's evangelical churches by a fanatic Muslim gunman is unbearable and continues to throw its shadows of pain on her broken family and the entire Christian community of Egypt.
In all of this mess, the loss of church buildings is great but not to be compared with the loss of the many souls, the pain of the wounds and the fear and anxiety that have filled the hearts of all that can yet happen in Egypt today and the days to come. Buildings can eventually be rebuilt, but when lost, souls can never be restored.
It was announced Wednesday night by our interim President Adly Mansour for Egypt to follow the emergency law for one month. Fourteen governorates (including Cairo, the capital) are now under curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. after the numerous attacks of the Muslim Brotherhood on public service buildings and private property.
We see and hear angry Muslim Brotherhood members coming on TV screens, threatening to burn Egypt down entirely to form what is so-called "Egypt's free army" and fight against the current army to accelerate the battle with the jihadists in Sinai. They say Egyptians will not be able to sleep until former President Morsi is back in office.
Please continue to pray for my country. These are the hardest days we've ever witnessed. The peaceful Egypt is now soaked in violence, hatred and desire for revenge. My heart and the hearts of millions of Christian and Muslim Egyptians are bleeding as we see Egypt turning into a strange country we've never before known.
Please pray for:
- Peace to come back to our cities;
- Wisdom to be given to Egyptian police and army forces as they handle the major upcoming security issues facing them;
- The tremendous power of love and forgiveness to fall on the hearts of the Christians as we seek to follow to the teachings of Jesus to pray for our attackers and persecutors and forgive them;
- The voice of reason to come back to the crowds of Muslim Brotherhood protesters so the brainwashed followers may stop, think and follow the sound of reason, not the orders of deceiving leadership.