Appeals for prayer for Egypt

Published 16 August 2013  |  
(AP)
An Egyptian man reacts as firefighters battle flames at the Giza governorate buildings that were stormed and torched by angry supporters of Egypt's ousted president, Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Egypt faced a new phase of uncertainty on Thursday after the bloodiest day since its Arab Spring began, with hundreds of people reported killed and thousands injured as police smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president.

Church leaders are asking Christians to pray for peace and an end to the bloodshed in Egypt.

The country has been rocked by violent protests following the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi.

More protests were expected today after the Muslim Brotherhood called upon supporters to take to the streets of Cairo in a "march of anger" following Friday prayers.

Archbishop Mouneer Anis said St Saviour's Anglican Church in Suez was "under heavy attack" from Morsi supporters who threw stones and molotov cocktails at the church and destroyed the car of the Reverend Ehab Ayoub, the priest-in-charge of St Saviour's Church.

"I am also aware that there are attacks on other Orthodox churches in Menyia and Suhag in Upper Egypt, as well as a Catholic church in Suez. Some police stations are also under attack in different parts of Egypt. Please pray and ask others to pray for this inflammable situation in Egypt," Archbishop Anis said.

He added: "Please pray that the situation will calm down, for wisdom and tact for the police and the army, for the safety of all churches and congregations, and that all in Egypt would be safe."

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary the Reverend Dr Olav Fykse Tveit called for prayers for healing, justice and peace for all Egyptians.

In a letter to WCC member churches in Egypt he said: "The only way forward is for mutual recognition as equal citizens within Egypt, sharing responsibilities and authority, accepting the diversity of political opinions and religious beliefs."

Bishop Angaelos, a General Bishop in the UK Coptic Orthodox Church, said colleagues in Egypt reported attacks on 52 churches across the country since Wednesday.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the violence this week.

Dr Tveit continued: "The World Council of Churches and its member churches are greatly concerned by the violent turn of events in Egypt and call for an immediate end of violence from all sides."

He added, "The Egyptian people showed on different occasions their belief in a multi-religious and multi-cultural society where all parties join hands in facing the current challenges and building a better future.

"This affects the whole of Egypt. I hope that this will not be interpreted as a conflict between Christians and Muslims."

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