They write from Egypt: “We want to assure you that all the members of the Movement in Egypt are well. The 14th of August was quite a painful day for the country, especially for Christians. As expected the government decided to vacate the occupied squares and unfortunately the reaction was surprisingly violent not only against the army, but against Christians as well. Throughout the country important churches, even ancient ones have been burned, also convents and schools that are run by men and women religious orders. Moderate Muslims immediately spoke out against the attacks and many offered to stand around churches to protect them. The grateful Christians asked them not to put their own lives in danger, because buildings can be reconstructed once the violence has passed.”
“The Coptic Church is offering a powerful witness: Pope Tawadros has asked the faithful not to respond to any of the violence: “Will they burn the churches? We will pray in the mosques. Will they burn the mosques? We will pray in the churches. Will they burn both? We will pray together in the streets, for we are all Egyptians.”
A. M. from the hard hit city of Assiut writes: “The church buildings have become incense burners, and the incense rises to Heaven to beg God for mercy on this people and grant miracles.”
“A month-long state of emergency has been declared and in many cities there is a curfew from 19:00 until 6:00 in the morning. The situation is very serious and we are living moments of suspension, but we are held up by our unwavering faith in God’s love, a faith found not only in us but in all of Egypt’s Christians and Muslims.”
“We feel the strong support of prayers from the Movement around the world and, on this feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, we have entrusted to Mary the people of this land who love her so dearly.
“Rooted in the life of the Gospel, which invites us to love one another and everyone else, we offer this great suffering for the strengthening of peace not only here, but in the entire Middle East.”