Egypt: How an Islam-tired nation steadily opens up to the Gospel
More often than elsewhere in the Middle East young people in Egypt turn their backs on Islam. Despite the original conservative opposition, they become atheists or Christians.
This observation comes from Dutch Christian and Middle East correspondent Mounir Samuel in a long article (Google Translate version) in secular magazine ‘De Groene Amsterdammer’.
Egypt is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to decline or to convert as a Muslim. A Muslim who openly expresses his faith doubt or desire to convert to another religion can expect a lot of social and political repercussions. Dismissal, rejection by the family, loss of friendship, threats by fundamentalists, arrest, torture, imprisonment or murder by family members or other relatives are the rule rather than the exception.
But there is a growing undercurrent, Samuel observes: the country is Islam-tired. The dominant presence of Islam in every aspect of life, the hypocrisy of clergy and politicians and the rise of salafists and jihadists have made many young Muslims think. They are massively searching for the true essence of religion, which leads roughly to two outcomes: they become more religious than their parents have ever been, or the opposite.
‘The peaceful response of Christians to terror has evoked public sympathy and admiration.’
There is a rising interest in Christianity. The terror waves against Christians in the summer of 2013 and the spring of 2017 have made many young Egyptians think. Not only did the media pay ample attention to the precarious position of the Christian minority in Egypt for the first time; the peaceful response of the leaders also evoked great amazement and public sympathy. A video clip in which Christians sing a message of peace and love in a burnt cathedral went all over the world and forced the Egyptian government to set up a support fund for the reconstruction of churches. Speeches from Christian women who publicly forgave the murderers of their husbands and children, elicited admiration in many talk shows.