Light In the midst of darkness
At the beginning of this new year, I feel the Lord wants me to share this post with you... I don't feel eloquent enough at all to write it, but I know that the Lord will help me. Throughout the year of 2011 my family and I have felt a great burden for our brothers and sisters in Christ in persecuted countries (especially Egypt) who have suffered throughout the year. That's why I post today.
Exactly a year ago, on New Year's Eve a terrorist bomb exploded outside a church in Alexandria, Egypt during a midnight church service as Christians were coming out from the midnight mass. It was horrific and unbelievable. At least 25 Coptic Christians were killed that day and many more were wounded. This event shook the Christians in Egypt and the whole nation to its core. Less than a month later, the Revolution was born and the dictator President Mubarak stepped down. And yet, none of the criminals who did this horrible act were punished in any way or arrested. An interim government took power (the Military) and the Extremest Muslim groups grew really strong, quickly. Daily throughout the year after this event my family and I heard of the destruction of homes and businesses of the Christians, the abducting of Christian girls, and the murder of Christians especially in the smaller country villages. Many Christians started to peacefully protest against the injustice done to them. The Military, the police, and the Muslim extremists all attacked them on many occasions. The worst was on October 9. The army and Muslim thugs attacked the Christians. The peaceful protesters were crushed over by huge military vehicles and shot down with live fire guns. At least 50 people were killed, a lot more were injured. To read more about it, visit my sister Sarah's blog: Gems of Faith In History
But this isn't narrowly confined to Egypt! In Nigeria this Christmas something like what happened in Alexandria last New Year happened in a church there. Two bombs exploded and over 40 Christians were killed, and 73 others wounded. The nation is in mourning and the Christians are in deep traumatic shock and suffering. To read the full story, go to: Open Doors USA There is so much suffering and pain now all over the world where Christians (the body of Christ) still suffers. It broke my heart then and still does now... and I wondered... "O God, why?" "Why so much suffering?" As the year went on, the Lord has been showing me...a little bit perhaps of the purpose for all the suffering. Later in this post I want to share what God is doing in the midst of the suffering. Also I've begun to reflect a lot on my own faith and wonder what I'd do if I were in the place of my brothers and sisters. They can deny their faith and all their suffering would cease. But they love the Lord Jesus! They wouldn't deny Him even if it means suffering and death. They are so hungry for God... they seek Him and cry out to Him day and night in blood and tears.
I want to first share with you a powerful video describing the state of the Copts in Egypt throughout the last year or so. Especially concentrating on the suffering of the Christians during the bombing of the Saints Church in Alexandria, and the more recent event of the attack in Maspero TV building. Here is the video, but it is in Arabic though it has some translation at the beginning. I'd very much advice you to see the English translation on YouTube: here.
WARNING: this film has some graphic footage for younger audiences. Sadly the truth can be painful!
The last little bit is without a translation I'm sorry but in many ways the scene tells it all... the Coptic Orthodox Pope