What's next in Egypt?

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What’s next in Egypt?

July 3, 2013 -

Egyptian anti-Morsi protesters react to the military announcement in Tahrir Square in Cairo on July 3, 2013. The head of Egypt's armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, issued a declaration on Wednesday suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state, effectively removing president Mohammed Morsi from power (Credit: Reuters/Suhaib Salem)

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi has been removed from office by his country’s military.  Responding to massive demonstrations against Morsi’s rule, military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Adly Mansour, chief justice of the Constitutional Court, has replaced Morsi on an interim basis.  The constitution has also been suspended, with promises that the provisional government will hold new parliamentary and presidential elections.

This action would be akin to the U.S. military replacing President Obama with Chief Justice Roberts, removing the Democratic Party from national power, and suspending the U.S. Constitution.  Imagine how life would change in America overnight.

What will happen now in Egypt?

Some will try to weaken the Muslim Brotherhood.  One man told reporters, “God willing, there will be no Muslim Brother left in the country today.  Let them get exiled or find rocks to hide underneath like they used to do, or go to prisons, it doesn’t matter.  No such thing as an ‘Islamist party’ shall exist after today.”

By contrast, Morsi’s supporters are defiant.  One of their signs declared, “To the coup supporters, our blood will haunt you, and you will pay an expensive price for every spilled drop of our blood.”

Some Islamists blame democracy itself.  One said, “Isn’t this the democracy they wanted?  Didn’t we do what they asked?  We don’t believe in democracy to begin with; it’s not part of our ideology.  But we accepted it and we followed them and then this is what they do.  They’re protesting against an elected democracy.”  And some claim that religion is being attacked.  One man told reporters, “This is a conspiracy against religion.  They just don’t want an Islamist group to rule.”

It’s likely that the number of refugees from Egypt will escalate.  The number of Egyptians seeking asylum in America has doubled since the 2011 revolution.  The Egyptian population in the U.S. has grown by nearly 30 percent.

And it’s probable that unrest in Egypt will escalate, according to Stratfor, a global intelligence analyst.  Now that the Muslim Brotherhood has been effectively removed from power, they will likely engage in civil unrest that will lead to more violence.  More conservative groups will probably abandon politics in favor of armed conflict.  And democratically elected leaders across the Arab world may worry that their armies will remove them from office if pressured to do so by the masses.

While the long term in Egypt may be better for Christians and global interests, the short term looks chaotic.  Please join me in praying for the Spirit to protect believers in Egypt and empower their witness in these chaotic days.  Elisha’s word to his servant in the face of overwhelming opposition is God’s word for them: “Don’t be afraid.  Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).  Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so that he may see.”  And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and “he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (v. 17).

Lord, open the eyes of your people in Egypt today.

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