- September 2, 2013
- By Staff / Baptist Standard
Egyptian Baptists request prayer. Baptists in Egypt asked Christians worldwide to pray for their nation and its Christians in the wake of violence that resulted in more than 1,000 deaths. Botros Faltaos, president of the Bible Baptist Denomination, based in Alexandria, asked the Baptist World Alliance for prayer, saying more than 80 churches of various denominations had been attacked and many burned. Mounir Malaty, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cairo, reported attacks on Baptist churches in El Minya and Beni Mazar. Islamic fundamentalists reportedly burned the church sanctuary in Beni Mazar, demolished office and classroom furnishings and fixtures and destroyed Christian emblems outside the church building. The pastor and his family, who live on the church property, escaped injury.
Baptists monitor Syria crisis. European Baptist leaders urged caution amid rising support for military intervention in Syria over what the United States, France and Great Britain say is clear evidence President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used banned chemical weapons on civilians. Stephen Keyworth, faith and society team leader for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, joined leaders from the Methodist Church in Britain and United Reformed Church in a statement on the crisis in Syria. The statement urged Western governments “to take time for careful consideration and resist hasty response. Syria has experienced a cycle of violence for too long.” Meanwhile, Tony Peck, general secretary of the European Baptist Federation, posted on Twitter, “I am deeply concerned about the move towards military intervention in Syria.” The Baptist World Alliance reported a grant of $20,000 for Syrian relief, in addition to other grants in 2012 and earlier this year. The funds will be used specifically for the humanitarian crisis in Homs, one of the hardest hit areas in the ongoing Syrian civil war and epicenter of the revolutionary movement in the Middle Eastern country.