Urgent Intercession Underway as Powder-Keg Egypt on Verge of Violence

Egyptian protesters
Egyptian protesters demonstrate outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Dec. 4, against President Mohammed Morsi. (Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Over the weekend, if not before, millions of Egyptians are expected to come down to not only the presidential palace zone in the Heliopolis district, northeast of Cairo, but to every major square all over the embattled country.

More than 15 million Egyptians had already signed the "Rebel" petition, requesting that President Mohammed Morsi, who has been in office for just one year, should step down and calling for early presidential elections.

"The picture of a chemical reaction comes to my mind when I try to analyze what is happening on the ground in Egypt now ... liquid substances in one jar and a strong flame underneath," says Michael*, an Egyptian Christian leader. "The heat of the flame together with the heavy dark smoke produced of the reaction of the two substances gives a warning alert that a possible explosion is most likely to happen.

"On one side, the Rebel movement of volunteers is working every hour preparing for the large demonstrations and related activities that are expected to sweep the country this Sunday," he explains. "They are urging Egyptians who oppose the rule of Morsi and his regime to participate in the national protest. On the other hand, Morsi and his supporting parties of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists are also working extensively to fight against the Rebel campaign by stirring up their submissive followers to attack the campaign volunteers and offices by words and deeds."

Michael says the situation in Cairo and the rest of the country is tense.

"Political talk shows of both sides are launching their missiles against each other in a breathtaking scene, waiting for someone to fire first," he says. "To add more heat to the frustration and tense situation, we have to line up for hours to fill our cars with fuel. I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to rush to the service station to get my tank filled up. I thought I might be one of only a few who rose up that early, but there was already a 400-meter line. That is only one of the daily life problems we face. Talks about frequent water and electricity cuts may take us out of focus on the major issue."

What will happen in the next few days in Egypt? Though everybody in Egypt is asking this question, no one seems to have a definite answer.

"This unsettled situation has forced many people in Egypt to fall victims to fear and panic due to the unknown," Michael says. "Sadly, a considerable number of Christians (or at least those who say they are) have also lost hope. Everyone is desperately wondering if a neutral agent can be added to the reaction or that someone or something can turn the fire off to stop the anticipated explosion. Some people consider the possible intervention of the army and a renewed commitment of the police to stand by the people's side rather than the rulers a small window of hope."

But Michael adds, "The living church in Egypt continues to cry out on the name of the Lord, day and night, so His will should be done throughout the current dilemma. We only see hope in the assuring and comforting shining face of our Jesus, whose presence can't be mistaken. The Lord is good."

"Christian leaders in Egypt have asked the worldwide Christian church to join with them in prayer for the country," says Jerry Dykstra, spokesman for Open Doors USA. "Pray that violent confrontations will not take place. Pray for no loss of life or injury. Please also pray that Christians may continue to shine with love and peace in uncertain, tense times."

*Not his real name, due to security reasons.

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