Please forward this prayer bulletin widely, and encourage others to sign up to the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin blog. "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV)
plus: Prisoner update: Niger, Sudan
by Elizabeth Kendal
As reported in last week's RLPB 395 (22 Feb), on 19 February a group calling itself the 'Islamic State of Egypt' released a video entitled 'Kill All Kuffar' (infidels). It specifically threatened Egypt's Copts, whom it scorned as 'worshippers of the cross'. Analysts surmise that 'Islamic State Wilayet Sinai' (IS in the province of Sinai) has changed its name to 'Islamic State of Egypt' to reflect its intention to spread terror beyond Sinai -- indeed, across all Egypt. Its bombing of Cairo's Coptic Cathedral, in which at least 28 Coptic Christians were killed, was a demonstration of this new strategy.
Critically, the group has also launched a 'Tracking Down the Apostates of Egypt' campaign to enlist the support of IS sympathisers across the country. 'Support the jihadis and report the information of apostates around you, be they soldiers, agents, conscripts, policemen, officers, bank managers, Christian leaders, atheists, crusaders or Zionists who live among you,' it urges its supporters online. In January five Copts were killed in less than two weeks with their throats cut, whilst money and other valuables were left behind. The focus now appears to be Al-Arish (48km from the Rafah Crossing Point) in North Sinai Province where a string of assassinations has triggered a Coptic exodus.
On 31 January Coptic trader Wael Youssef (35) was shot dead in his grocery shop by masked men. On 12 February Coptic veterinarian Bahgat Zakhar (40) was shot dead as he was leaving his private clinic. On 13 February Coptic labourer Adel Shawk (57) was fatally shot in the head. On 16 February Coptic teacher Gamal Tawfiq (50) was gunned down in a crowded market while on his way to school. On 23 February Copt Kamal Youssef (40) was shot dead in front of his wife and children at his home which the killers then torched. Also on 23 February police found the bodies of Copts Saad Hana (65) and his son Medhat (45) who had been abducted days earlier: Saad had been shot in the head while Medhat had been burnt alive.
|Copts from Al-Arish |
arrive in Ismailiya (AP)
|By Israeli cartoonist, Yaakov Kirschen, |
27 Feb 2017. Dry Bones Blog
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR GOD TO:
* provide for the displaced Copts seeking sanctuary in Ismailiya so they will receive everything they need; may all who help and serve them be blessed.
* intervene in Sinai to bring an end to the evil that dwells there; may the Sinai no longer be a sanctuary for Islamic jihadists and human traffickers. '... but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away . . .' (from Isaiah 17:12-14, emphasis mine)
ALSO, prayer points from last week based on Psalm 141: 8-10 (ESV)
* May the Spirit of God draw the eyes of all Copts and all Egyptian Christians towards our God; may they 'seek refuge' in him. v8
* May Jesus Christ, the Lord of hosts (the commander of heaven's angelic armies), deploy his angels to deliver Egypt's Coptic Christians from the 'traps' set for them, from the 'snares of evildoers'. v9
* May God intervene for his people; 'Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while [God's children] pass safely by.' v10
SUMMARY FOR BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE
EGYPT: COPTS DRIVEN FROM NORTH SINAI
On 19 February the 'Islamic State of Egypt' released a video entitled 'Kill All Kuffar' (infidels), specifically threatening Egypt's Coptic Christians. The group also launched a 'Tracking Down the Apostates of Egypt' campaign, which calls on IS sympathisers across the country for support by reporting the whereabouts of infidels, including 'Christian leaders ... crusaders [Westerners] or Zionists [Jews] who live among you'. Five Copts were murdered in January and seven Copts have been killed in Al-Arish, North Sinai Province since 31 January. More than 118 Coptic families have fled North Sinai with more on the way. Most have found refuge in churches, hostels and homes in Ismailiya, Suez Canal city. The Health Minister has set up medical facilities to meet the Copts' needs. Please pray for Egypt and its Copts.
|Jeff Woodke, Daily Express UK Oct 2016|
|Jasek and FM Zaoralek fly home to |
Prague, 26 Feb. More Photos
Meanwhile, Jasek's co-defendants -- Rev Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) and Darfuri convert Abdulmonem Abdumawla -- remain incarcerated in Kober maximum security prison. Please pray.
Elizabeth Kendal is international religious liberty analyst and advocate. She serves as Director of Advocacy at Canberra-based Christian Faith and Freedom (CFF), and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.
She has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne, Australia, Dec 2012) which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA, June 2016).