Praying for Egypt

Is your heart broken for Egypt yet? After a generation of authoritarian misrule the Arab Spring gave so many hope for a better future. Not able to agree on what that “better future” looked like – a return to the purity of 7th century Islam, individual freedom, etc. – the New Egypt, personified in President Morsi, didn’t last long. Now hundreds of his supporters are dying as they’re slaughtered by the new authoritarian government.

Should Christians cheer that Morsi the Islamist president has been knocked from power? Should Americans cheer that the democratic process that brought Morsi to power has now been overturned by the military?

I find this a time for lament, not a time for cheering. I’m not a blind adherent of the doctrine that the best political system is only and always that which is freely elected by the majority. Sometimes the majority might get it right. Often they don’t.

I’ve also read enough Martin Luther over the years to not have a bias against the idea of a Muslim ruler – especially in a country that is majority Muslim. If they are going to have a Muslim ruler, I would like to see one that is (a) competent, (b) has a vision of and commitment to the good of all the citizens, Muslim of not, (c) enacts as much peace and justice as possible, and finally, (d) acts within limits and self-restraint.

I lament that Egyptians, whether Muslim, Christian, something else, or nothing at all, are in a state where they have no rational, peaceful way to influence their government. I lament that the meanness and incompetence of the leadership (now and earlier) is encouraging the complete demise of the Egyptian economy, possibly leading to the impoverishment and starvation of millions.

I don’t have any solutions for the Egyptians. It’s their country, so like it or not, they have to come up with it. But I’m praying for them.

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