“Please tell Christians around the world how thankful we are for standing by our side when we are going through such hard times in Egypt. We’re so grateful not only for the financial and practical support we receive as we face our crisis, but also for the prayers and spiritual support we feel.”
Those are the words written by Egyptian priest Mina* in August following brutal attacks against Egyptian Christians by Muslim Brotherhood fanatics. The Muslim Brotherhood blamed Christians, in part, for having a hand in the ouster of Mohammed Morsi as president.
Pastor Mina and many others of the estimated 100 million Christians around the globe who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ desperately need our prayers. Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world and are oppressed in over 60 countries.
Let’s take a look at the increased suffering and pressure on believers in the Middle East. According to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released last December, Christians now make up only 4 percent of Middle Eastern inhabitants. A century ago the number was 20 percent.
The Pew report adds that although Christianity was birthed in the Middle East, just 0.6 percent – fewer than 13 million – of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians live in the Middle East and North Africa. The region is 93 percent Muslim.