As Egypt’s Christians mourn a deadly gun attack on Coptic pilgrims, SAT-7’s Arabic channels have been leading believers across the Middle East in prayer. Several shows lifted up grieving families, injured survivors, and vulnerable Egyptian Christians, allowing viewers to pour out their pain and grief to God.
At least seven people were killed on 2 November when gunmen targeted buses carrying Christian pilgrims to Saint Samuel Monastery in Minya. Many others were injured in the attack, which is the second to target the same route.
On the day after the shooting, presenters of the live children’s worship show Family of Jesus led young viewers in prayer for the families of those killed.
“Surround them with your love”
“Lord, we pray that nothing separates them from your love,” prayed Presenter Mina Awny. “No power can separate us from the love of Jesus. Surround them with your love. Overwhelm them with your love.”
In every live call made to the show that day, children added their own voices in prayer.
“Lord, I thank you. I ask you to be with the injured children. Stay with them and keep them safe. Amen,” said Jolie, the first viewer to call in.
“Father Jesus, protect us and the families of the martyrs,” prayed eight-year-old Michael from Giza.
“You are in control”
Along with the amazing power of prayer itself, giving viewers a voice to pray at times of great pain helps them share their feelings and focus on Jesus.
George Makeen, SAT-7’s Programming Director for Arabic Channels, explains:
“Our priority at SAT-7 is to give our Egyptian brothers and sisters a safe space to express their feelings and grief – their pain, fear, and doubts – as we continue to pray for their morale. We pray that they would be strengthened and know God’s comfort during this painful time.”
Jackleen (14) from Cairo encouraged viewers with her prayer on Family of Jesus: “Lord Jesus, I know you love us. You see everything, and you are in control.”
A spirit of love
On the children’s programme Chato, the presenter prayed:
“Lord, we thank you, for you are great and good. You care about us despite what’s happening, and you are in control of everything. Nothing is out of your hands. Lord, we pray for the families of those who were killed, that you will give them condolences and peace in their hearts. Lord, help them to forgive those responsible.”
SAT-7 also broadcasted the annual Days of Harvest Christian festival from Maghaha in Minya governorate. The programme included prayers for those affected by the shooting.
In his prayer, speaker Pastor Sameh Maurice shared a powerful message of forgiveness:
“We ask for a spirit of love in the hearts of your people and your Church towards those who hate them … we ask for a spirit of forgiveness that will be a testament to your presence forever. In the middle of great persecution, your Church is lifted up to proclaim its faith, love, and fellowship with you.”
The shooting comes after a similar attack on a bus carrying pilgrims along the same road in May 2017. The so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both attacks.