After my most recent pessimistic post on the soul of Islam, I must report a positive development in Egypt, and give credit where credit is due.
You may remember that on New Year’s Eve, radical Muslims set off a bomb outside a church as worshippers were leaving, killing over 20 people and injuring scores more. This led to Christians taking to the streets over the ensuing days, throwing rocks at authorities and otherwise expressing their extreme frustration that they have received little protection or sympathy from the Egyptian government over these terrorist attacks and associated pressures.
Well, this last week the Coptic Church celebrated Christmas (following the Orthodox Church calendar), and there was great fear that this well-attended holy day would be used by the terrorists to create mayhem for Christians across the country.
To counter this threat, word went out to the Egyptian population as a whole, and a movement began among Muslims, both religious and secular, to come out that evening and surround their local churches to act as human shields to foil any bombings! Muslims and Christians are remembering that they are both Egyptian, and declaring that Egyptians should not be doing these things to one another. Although the rationale seems based more on national dignity than on religious dictates, nonetheless thousands of Muslims were willing to put their lives in jeopardy in order to allow Christians to worship in peace and safety.
That is a great sign of sacrifice and grace, and I honor those who acted in this noble way. May such signs be multiplied among Christians and Muslims both around the world!