Egypt is banning demonstrations and detaining protesters, seeking to draw a line under unprecedented anger over President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.
Wednesday was a “Day of Wrath” in which thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in anti-government protests.
News reports indicated thousands of demonstrators, inspired by the events of Tunisia, demanded that Mubarak step down. David Harder with SAT-7 says, “Tunisia has really put the sparks to a fire that has already not just piled up, but had been covered with fuel and all of a sudden a spark came to ignite. No one knows what the result will be.”
The tension has been building, and the church bombing in Alexandria galvanized people into action. “There has been a growing sense of anger and resentment amongst the disenfranchised politically, amongst the Christians, and other religious minority groups who are feeling oppressed, neglected, mistreated.”
Harder says their staff lives and works in the area where one of the largest demonstrations took place this week. “Pray that our team would have peace, that deep inner peace that only Christ can give no matter what occurs around them. And secondly, pray that they would be strong witnesses for the Lord Jesus.”
As it was with the church bombing, the staff provides a forum for people to talk about the issues. SAT-7 is a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa. Their programming includes live shows where viewers can interact with the hosts in real time through texting or call-ins.
“They can talk about those things, but also they can do it in a way that helps to disperse some of the anger and help people think about these issues in a rational way,” Harder notes, adding, “That is the kind of thing that we are doing in our live programs…allowing people to respond to these events.” The interaction provides opportunity for the team to share the peace of Christ with those around them.
The response of SAT-7 is even more important given recent reports that the government has temporarily shut down access to Twitter and Facebook, a claim the officials deny. With the uncertainties continuing to brew, Harder says it’s important to keep praying.