Egypt’s Fearless Hope
Written By Pastor Daniel Ted
Spirit of Martyrdom–Muslim Outreach
“On this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) God is using fundamental Islam to destroy the brick and mortar of man’s effort to build His church. God is building His Church, through the refinement of persecution. The Church in North Africa is growing as a spiritual people who worship the Father in spirit and truth. I have an insider’s view. I am an Egyptian persecuted Christian.
My father was born in a village 200 miles from Cairo. I was raised as a minority among millions of Muslims. We lived in a small Christian village of 150 homes. There was no church facility among 2000 Christians. In modern Egyptian history, it has been nearly impossible to build a church building. Christians had to seek the permission of the president of Egypt to hold prayer meetings, build or renovate a Christian building. Despite these huge obstacles, my father struggled for years to obtain the funds and permission to build a church for his village. Just as Nehemiah had threats against him for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, so my father faced threats and harassment for his leadership in this project. His Christian activities cost the loss of business opportunities from Muslims and travel to Saudi Arabia.
With much perseverance, he obtained a building permit and raised funds for the project from the mostly underprivileged Christians. The success of his labor drew the attention of the secret Islamic police who would visit and interrogate him with intimidation on a regular basis. By the grace of God and as time passed, we completed a place of worship. However, this inflamed the anger of the fundamental Muslims more which has produced much angst, tension and persecution over the years.
This past July, 2013 the political situation in Egypt degraded. Fundamental Muslims started attacking many places of Christian worship and ministry. The Muslim mobs destroyed our village church that my father built many years ago. They burned around 120 churches until now. There are reports of Christian women being sexually violated for not refusing to deny Jesus as Lord. Other Christians have lost their fields, crops, and animals which are their means of a livelihood. At the beginning of August, the fundamental Muslims attacked my home village. Christians had to flee for their lives. Muslims marched through the streets carrying knives, guns and weapons of various sorts. They burned to the ground seventeen homes of my relatives. Some of them escaped breaking a hole in the back fence and running to the fields. All these relatives have had to find other places to live. One of my relatives hid in the field for five days with his wife eating the food of the animals.
Twelve family members were beaten and hospitalized. Two of them are still in the hospital as I write this article. The trauma of this event has caused the children to have nightmares. Two weeks later, Muslims forced my family to sign reconciliation papers to stop any case against them in court. My relatives told me, “We expect Muslims to do more attacks, but we do not know when.” I was then inspired as I talked on the phone with my family and they said, “We are ready now to be martyrs for the name of Jesus.” The experiences of my family in Egypt represent much of the experiences of Christians throughout the Arab world right now.
God used persecution in my own life to increase His Kingdom ministry. In 2010 I had to flee the persecution of the secret police that pursued me due to my Christian activities and outreach to ex- Muslims. I praise God for His provision to relocate to the United States with my wife and four children. As refuges we had to leave our home, businesses, car, family and start all over in America. The Lord had a plan as the Holy Spirit spoke to me from Joel 3:9 “to stir up the mighty men of God.” He has called me to equip Christians in America to reach out to Muslims in the United States with the Gospel. Today I am overseeing Spirit of Martyrdom’s Muslim Outreach in America. Every Friday we have Christian teams visiting mosques and sharing the Gospel of Jesus with Muslims. (We call them our Christian Islamic Dialogue teams.) The first week of September, I was able to lead a SOM team to Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn has the highest proportion of Muslims in the United States. We passed out thousands of Christian tracts and prayed with dozens of Muslims for salvation and specific needs. If my life had not passed through difficult persecution, I would not be here in the United States and reaching many Muslims for Christ. Now I can see God’s plan of refinement clear. Therefore, I hope my testimony gives you a better understanding of Christians in the Muslim world. There is hope and encouragement even though this life is very difficult for Christians living under Islam. The monuments of mankind are being destroyed, but God is using this to mature His Church and build faith. Thank you for your prayers for Egypt and support of Spirit of Martyrdom.