Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and United Action for Egyptian Christians have held an ecumenical day of prayer for Christians in Egypt on in London on 29 January 2011.
Sectarian violence against Christians in Egypt escalated in 2010, and the start of 2011 was marred by the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve in which 23 people were killed and 80 were injured.
The Day of Prayer for Egypt began with an ecumenical service at St Marys Church, Bryanston Square, W1, led by Bishop Angaelos, head of the Coptic Church in the UK and attended by representatives of various Christian denominations.
The increasingly tense situation for Egypt’s Christians was discussed by Dr Raafat Girgis, a leading expert on the history of Christianity in Egypt, Ibrahim Habib of United Copts of Great Britain, and representatives from CSW. There was worship in both Arabic and English.
Egypt has been rocked in recent days by protests against the government of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for 29 years.
Despite a ban on political demonstrations, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of towns and cities across the country after Friday prayers in what is thought to be the biggest day of protest yet.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “Egypt is at a critical time in its history and it is more important than ever that we join Christians in Egypt in praying for the future of their country. We look forward to welcoming Christians of all denominations as they join with us in standing in solidarity with the Church in Egypt at this crucial time.”
CSW is a leading human rights advocacy organisation specialising in religious freedom, working on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promoting religious liberty for all.