Friday Prayers for Egypt: Church and Loan

Flag Cross Quran


Long awaited items seem almost there. But almost to arrival is still a distance. Give wisdom in the final days of discussion.

Egypt’s Christians have long complained of difficulty in securing authorization to build churches. The new constitution mandated a law be passed by parliament in its first term to govern a better process. Behind the scenes negotiations between church and state near completion, and elected representatives appear ready to receive the draft law.

What they do with it is up to them.

God, for some this is a non-issue, for others it equates religious identity. Give courage and tact. Give conviction and empathy. Give consensus in line with your good will.

Perhaps your good will is more flexible in monetary policy, God, but help Egypt to find it in reference to the IMF. Staff level agreements have been finalized on a $12 billion loan and reform package. But political push and social acceptance may be lacking.

And some breathe a sigh of relief, finding neoliberalism and austerity programs to be the problem, not the solution. Others view it as a mark of international confidence and economic recovery, while a third are torn but resigned in the face of fiscal necessity.

Sort between them, God, for the sake of the nation. Set right the ship, that all may prosper. If the loan goes through, disperse it well. If not, revive the economy through better means.

And in all things, bless Egypt. Give peace and due process in religion; give sense and stewardship in economy.

No matter the distance, help all arrive together.





Friday Prayers for Egypt: Election, Debt

Flag Cross QuranGod,

Very shortly Egypt will begin two long anticipated processes. She will vote to elect a parliament, and negotiate to secure a loan. The first aims to restore a democratic institution; the second a sound economy.

Bless both efforts, God. Whether virtue or vice brought Egypt to this stage, may wisdom lead her forward.

Seven electoral lists and hundreds of individuals will compete in polls that could stretch into December. They will be tasked first with review of all laws passed in parliament’s absence, and then work with the president and cabinet to supervise the nation’s agenda.

Candidates are diverse. Leftists, liberals, and a remnant of Islamists. Supporters of the old regime. Representatives of tribal and business interests. Some criticize the entire procedure as manufactured. Some celebrate it as the completion of a democratic path.

Some, it seems, view parliament as a burden. Some don’t seem to care at all.

God, whether flawed or noble, invest these elections with importance. Rally each citizen in support of civic duty. May they pursue their local interests. May they pursue their political principles. Inspire them to be involved in the right running of their nation.

May they choose able and honorable representatives.

And of the nation’s current representatives, give them discernment in economic policy.

Billion dollar loans have been mentioned by officials, sought through the World Bank and IMF. With low interest and long repayment, some see these as the solution to meet a budget deficit and win time for necessary reforms.

As the pound devalues and tourism and direct investment lag in adequate rebound, stability is needed. Such loans signal confidence from the international community, they also tie the nation to an economic agenda. Wise men debate these matters, and disagree.

Let the wisdom filter into public discourse, God. Let the people know the challenges before them. Let them work, save, and invest to win good life for their families. Let their collective efforts win good life for Egypt.

Let Egypt repay her debts and restore her economy.

God, may politicians owe their debt to the people. May they receive it in interest a hundred times over.