Friday Prayers for Egypt: Continuation

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To some degree, dramatic events were more of the same. For good or for ill, some may well carry forward, some must irrevocably stop. Judge rightly, God, and guide Egypt to your judgment.

Coptic families were gunned down on an outing to a monastery.

Websites were blocked in a dispute over content and orientation.

An NGO law was ratified establishing greater government oversight.

Each is a continuation.

The massacre is the fourth in five months, forgetting not the 2013 church attacks following the Rabaa dispersal, the 2011 Maspero incident, and the 2010 New Year’s Eve bombing.

After Morsi’s removal a number of Islamist media networks were shut down.

After Mubarak’s resignation a number of NGOs were raided amid ongoing investigations.

The difference of opinion ranges from minimal to severe. God, fill in and close the gaps.

Only the most hardened justify the ambush in Minya. But some suggest Copts somehow are reaping the consequence of their political stances.

The websites in question were not shy to be critical. Some are said to be funded by Islamist-friendly nations, others are said to be independent.

Many Egyptians believe the upheavals of the past few years gestated through foreign NGOs. Some call the law draconian; some call it necessary.

How then to pray?

Sanctify life in the eyes of all. Make none a pawn in political games.

Foster free and responsible media. Let true information circulate widely.

Protect the people from/through NGOs. Help government partner with civil society.

God, Egypt is troubled and needs your support. For good or for ill, old patterns continue.

Carry forward your blessing. Stop irrevocably the plague.



Friday Prayers for Egypt: NGO Medicine

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As with all people, sometimes society falls sick. Help Egypt restore herself to health.

But first, the people need medicine. Since the floating of the Egyptian pound essential drugs have been hard to come by. The price of imported raw materials nearly doubled overnight, while a cap is placed on consumer prices.

Drug manufacturers are pinched, and the sick suffer.

God, help Egypt find an equilibrium. So many interests, so many sectors to balance. Give foresight to anticipate coming struggles, and discernment to solve those of the present.

But another present problem is the role of civil society. Some see foreign money pursuing its own agenda. Some see government seeking to restrict the whole.

God, weigh motivations and inspire good policy. Many abroad just want to help. Others may intend discord. Many in government just want to protect. Others may intend control.

Sort and shuffle, God. Place good men in position to judge. Bring honest brokers to the task of implementation. Populate civil society with Egyptians who love their country. Populate government with people of wisdom.

Heal, God. There are long-suffered wounds and nurtured mistrust. The health of society is at stake, and the needed medicine is in your presence.

Lend it liberally, God. You are the great physician.



Friday Prayers for Egypt: Italy, NGOs

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The facts known or the story straight. Above board or underhanded. In Egypt this week it is one or the other. God, let it be the former.

For there are many who doubt, many who accuse.

Egypt announced the ID of the Italian researcher tortured and murdered two months ago was found in a home connected to a criminal gang killed in a shootout with police.

A joint investigation is being conducted with Italy, but some on both sides of the Mediterranean consider it far too tidy a conclusion. These point figures at Egyptian police, who have made clear they had no role in his disappearance.

At the same time, dozens of civil society organizations have been named in the reopening of a file linking them to illegal foreign funding, sponsored to work against the regime.

Investigations are proceeding, and over the years the state has left a murky legal field for NGO operation. But some on both sides of the Atlantic consider this an assault against independent voices, though Egypt insists it simply wants compliance with the law.

God, provide the truth.

There are criminals somewhere, find them. Civil society needs funds, provide them.

If accusations against Egypt are true, her moral morass grows deeper with each new revelation. If Egypt is innocent, the force of the onslaught against her grows stronger.

Whether guilt is mixed or confined to one side, hold the responsible accountable, God. Sooner rather than later, let there be transparency.

Through it all, preserve Egypt and her people. Bless them, and may their story, with all its facts, one day be celebrated.