Hundreds of Egyptian Christians recently gathered for a two-day worship festival in Egypt within 15 miles of a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 28 believers in May.
The Days of Harvest event at Maghagha in Minya governorate (5-6 October) was one of at least six large-scale conferences that have drawn Christians for worship and teaching and that have been screened live by satellite TV network SAT-7. All the festivals have taken place since the summer, when security threats forced churches to cancel any large meetings offsite.
It was from Maghagha that a convoy of vehicles, carrying Coptic Orthodox families, was travelling to a nearby monastery on 25 May. Around ten masked gunmen fired on the convoy and then shot victims at close range.
Three major conferences have been held in different towns in the volatile Minya area. The Show Me Your Glory ll conference (29 September) united all of Egypt’s Evangelical denominations and was held in Deir Abou Hinnis in the south. Two Days of Harvest conferences, organised by the influential Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church (KDEC) in Cairo, were held in Etsa and Maghagha.
Depth of faith
Rachel Fadipe of SAT-7 UK said “Crucially, these festivals have been organised after detailed consultations and arrangements with Egypt’s Interior Ministry and security forces. Nevertheless, Egyptian Christians’ willingness to travel after a wave of terrorism since last December shows their depth of faith and refusal to surrender to fear”.
As well as the gatherings in the south of the country, large festivals have also been held at Wadi Natroun, 100 km north of Cairo. The One Thing prayer festival (21-23 September) gathered several thousand young people, while the Freedom Meeting conference (30 September – 1 October) gathered members of Egypt’s Brethren congregations. At the end of October, Count it Right, a family festival that can attract as many as 10,000 people, will be held at the same venue and transmitted by SAT-7.
“Special thanks to SAT-7, the station that the Lord uses for His service and glory,” said Dr Andrea Zaki, President of the Evangelical Churches in Egypt, at Show Me Your Glory. “I thank the founder, the director in Egypt and its crew members for the service that it provides across the Arab world. It is a station that serves the Middle East.”
Notes to Editors:
Launched in 1996, with its international headquarters in Cyprus, SAT-7 broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television to an audience of at least 21 million people in the Middle East and North Africa, tackling the most pressing and evolving development issues in the region. SAT-7 broadcasts in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish languages on six channels.