Egypt's Christians welcome military coup against Muslim Brotherhood
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.There is nothing simple about the religio-political dynamics of Egypt, and it would be foolish to frame this most recent revolution - the second in a year - in transitory Manichæan terms, perched somewhere between evil and holiness. The fact is that President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were democratically elected but did not rule with any regard to the rights and liberties of minorities or those who opposed the new Islamic/ist constitution. You simply cannot foist democracy on a divided nation: parliament is an expression of pre-existing national unity. And so millions of liberal Egyptians welcome the suspension of democracy by military intervention. The democratic Brotherhood aren't going to go away, but neither are the undemocratic liberals.
And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 19:1-4).
Egypt seemed a safer place under President Mubarak. It was certainly more stable; the people had jobs and food and a sense of well-being. Under Morsi, unemployment soared, poverty increased, tourism depleted and infrastructure collapsed. There was no desire to return to an era of military trials and summary judgments, but Egypt's Christians were acutely aware that democracy did not enhance pluralistic liberty. Their grievances went unheard; their persecution increased; and journalists who dared to speak out were 'disappeared'.
Now there is a curious coalition of forces: millions of Christians, young Arab Muslims, the Army, the police and the aspirant liberal class. These are ranged against millions of impassioned supporters of Morsi and aggrieved adherents of the Brotherhood, whose democratic Islamic/ist project has been brought to an end.
We in the West can criticise the Army from the comfort of our armchairs.
We would do well to listen to our Christian brothers and sisters on the ground, for it is they who have endured violence and suffering under Morsi. This from Pope Tawadros II, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who paid tribute to the 'three greats of Egypt – the people, the army and the youth':
"It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way, through the idea of Rebel and its youth."And this from the Most Rev Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, Anglican Bishop of Egypt (and Jerusalem, the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa):
At last, Egypt is now free from the oppressive rule of the Muslim Brotherhood! The Armed Forces took the side of the millions of Egyptians who demonstrated in the streets since the 30th of June against President Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Armed Forces responded to the invitation of the people to intervene and force the President to step down at the request of the people of Egypt. Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-SiSi invited His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and The Grand Imam of Egypt Dr. Ahmed el-Tayyib, and other political leaders, to discuss the roadmap for the future of Egypt. After this meeting, it was announced that the head of the constitutional court will be an interim leader of the nation. The current controversial constitution is now suspended. The new government will involve capable people from different backgrounds.These are important messages of Christian solidarity with Egypt's military and liberal and/or secular Muslims. We must pray for peace, tolerance and healing in Egypt. The alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
As soon as Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced this, millions of Egyptians on the streets went around rejoicing, singing, dancing, and making a lot of fireworks. I have never seen Egyptians rejoicing in such a way! They deserve this joy as they insisted to write their own history!
Since the Muslim Brotherhood ruled the country a year ago, we Egyptians experienced divisions, exclusions, sectarian clashes, fanaticism, a decrease in tourism, and a bad economy.
This is an answer to the prayers of so many people from around the world who were praying for our beloved country Egypt. Please continue to pray for protection from violent reaction of the Islamists which already has started. Pray also for unity and reconciliation after more than 1 year of divisions.
May the Lord bless you!
+ Mouneer Egypt