The Price of Democracy

Egypt_Votes

Dear friends,

As we begin 2014 the biggest concern of most Egyptians is whether or not they, individually and as a nation, can afford the price of the new “democracy” which was achieved by our “Revolution”!

In January 2011, when Egyptians in large numbers toppled the government by protesting against the autocratic rule of the Mubarak regime, there was hope that the country would become truly democratic. We dreamed of a nation where everyone could freely express his or her perspectives and opinions and yet also work together in harmonious tolerance.

This dream was quickly crushed when the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) took over the government and imposed what increasingly resembled religious theocracy. When that regime was ousted by popular demand last summer, there was new hope that the dreams we’d had during the Revolution would finally be realized.

Unfortunately, since the dispersal of the MB’s 48 day sit-ins on August 14, 2013, disruption of daily life and violence on the streets has become a normal part of Egyptian life.  We often hear of people wounded or killed in clashes between MB supporters and the police, the army or angry civilians who want to live a normal life. In an attempt to restore peace on the street, the government’s aggressive response to continued MB disruptions sadly seems to create more violence rather than less.

As we prepare for a national referendum on a new Constitution, the violence continues in an attempt to intimidate the general population and scare them from going to the polls on January 14 and 15.

Having just celebrated the birth of the Prince of Peace, Christians in Egypt yearn for that elusive peace in their hearts and in the country as a whole.

We are grateful that the Lord has protected the Bible Society staff.  Even though two of our bookshops were viciously attacked last summer (photo at left), one of them has already been reopened (see picture below) and we hope that the other will be back in operation shortly.

In spite of the constant interruption of normal life due to months of curfew, demonstrations and strikes, and the resulting traffic nightmare, we have distributed more Scriptures than ever in 2013!

Undoubtedly, as people feel insecure they turn more to God’s Word for comfort and encouragement. Pray with us to know creative ways to better reflect what the Prince of Peace would say to Egypt.

And please pray for us as we begin 2014 and prepare for the Cairo International Bookfair (January 22 until February 4) that God’s Word may be boldly and creatively presented and shared with many Egyptians who are seeking true peace.

Thank you so much for your prayers, support and encouragement during 2013,