Monday, September 17, 2007

30 Days of Prayer - Egypt

Coptic Christians and Muslims in Egypt

Ramadan 2007 / 1428 : Day 04 for September 16

- Focus Area: The Nile Delta Region

The Nile Delta is a fertile farming region that extends from the northern edge of Cairo to the Mediterranean Sea. The three major cities marking the limits of the Nile Delta region, but not included in it, are Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. Referred to simply as the Delta, the region consists of the area surrounding the branches of the Nile River, which splits into the Rosetta and Damietta branches at a point just north of Cairo.

As one of the Middle East’s and Egypt’s most densely populated areas the Delta is home to approximately 32 million people living in several large towns and thousands of villages. The region includes twenty cities each with populations of between 90,000 and 500,000 people. The local population increases by about 500,000 people each year. Covering the same land area as the state of Vermont in the USA (22,000 square kilometers) this small area is home to 12% or 1 out of every 8.5 native Arabic speakers in the world (The total population of the 22 countries of the Arab world is 323 million but only 272 million have Arabic as their mother tongue).

The people of the Delta range from the poor, rural and uneducated to the wealthy and urban who have advanced degrees from universities in Western nations. There are even several universities in the Delta, but the overall literacy rate is low. Despite urbanisation the vast majority of Egyptians in the Delta are farmers. Egypt is one of the world’s top rice producers, almost all of which is grown in the Delta.

The US ambassador to Egypt enjoys attending an annual celebration in the Delta city of Tanta. Sayid al Badawi founded a Sufi order and the mosque in Tanta housing his tomb is one of the largest in the Middle East.

The overwhelming majority of the people in the Delta are Muslims. However there is a significant minority, roughly three percent, who identify with the Coptic Church, which traces its origins to Mark the Evangelist, the writer of the Gospel. A tiny minority of Christians in the Delta are Evangelicals.

Prayer Requests:
* Pray for boldness for all believers (current and new believers) resulting in the Gospel being shared thousands of times daily.
* The Delta is filled with a spiritual atmosphere of fear, confusion, fanaticism, and magic. Pray for fear to be driven out by perfect love, for clouds of confusion to be burned away by the light of truth, for fanaticism to be overcome by humility, and for demonic bondage resulting from practising magic to be broken in the name of Jesus. Pray that people will get to know the real Jesus, despite any errors they may have been taught.
* A family for Jesus can make God’s most powerful unit for building his kingdom. Pray for entire families to come to Christ so that they will devote their homes, as well as their hearts, to the Lord.
* Pray for people to listen to and watch the Christian radio and satellite broadcasts which can be heard in the Delta.

Background information, map and statistics about Egypt are here >>

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