Egypt undergoes increasing division and instability, Christian churches in the country are finding new unity and revitalization, according to a report in Charisma magazine (June).
Although there are also reports of Christians leaving Egypt in fear of growing violence and restrictions, the magazine finds churches are swelling in attendance, gaining a public profile, and even drawing in Muslim followers. As the political chaos may lead Christians to be more outspoken, there are a growing number of public prayer events that are no longer held underground that draw both evangelical and Coptic Orthodox believers together, writes Ken Walker.
Bishop Tawadros, the Coptic pope appointed last November, has supported such ecumenical initiatives, whilst the Internet and satellite TV (i.e. California-based network Alkarma) has “played a role in the spiritual groundswell.” Many of these prayer gatherings started underground in the 1990s and early 2000s but have gradually taken on a more public presence, Walker adds. Over the past three years attendance at Kasr Al Dobara, Egypt’s largest evangelical congregation located in Cairo, has increased from 700 to crowds that regularly overflow the capacity of the 2,500-seat sanctuary.