Egypt (MNN) ― There's been an uptick in tensions between Egypt's Muslims and Christ-followers.
The alleged conversion of a 36-year old Muslim teacher lies at the heart of recent unrest. She's been missing for several days and was reportedly seen outside a church in southern Egypt with a Christian friend.
When police used force against hundreds of Muslims trying to overtake the church last week, the crowds pushed back - resulting in over 10 injured officials.
While the divide dates back to biblical times, Egypt's Christians and Muslims have been increasingly at-odds since Mubarak fell from power two years ago. National instability adds another layer of anxiety.
"Things are going down and there's no real vision, and the people in Egypt are very angry. It's very bad," says Mike*, a representative of IN Network in Egypt. He says many Egyptians who voted for Morsi this summer have now turned against him.
"[Morsi] gave a big promise, and said that he had a great plan to change things in Egypt to move the economy and…he gave many promises," Mike says. "But now it's about 6 months since he took over and the people find out that he didn't have a plan.
"He's not qualified to lead the country, and there's no stability. The people are depressed and it's a big disaster."
How's it affecting the Church?
"Because of the pressure and because they are not sure about the future, there is a spirit of prayer arising in all the churches," he explains. He says it's also serving to bring churches into a new spirit of unity.
"The churches are going to a new season," says Mike. "We've never experienced this before, so we need to train the leaders of the churches."
That's exactly what IN Network is doing: equipping pastors to reach an ever-changing Egypt. For three to five days, hundreds of church leaders are equipped with training and the skills they need to reach their communities for Christ.
Mike says they also put a curriculum together for Sunday School teachers who work with kids between the ages of 4 and 11.
"Many families are very poor, are not able to take care of their kids," explains Mike. "So we train Sunday School teachers how to reach the children, how to help poor children and even how to support some of their needs."
The training is given free to church leaders, but it costs IN Network approximately $15 per attendant to provide this type of resource. President of IN Network USA Rody Rodenhaver says they hope to raise $5000 to cover their training needs for the next two years.
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"Egypt is a very important country, and whatever happens in Egypt, it affects the whole Arab world," says Mike, "so please pray for wisdom to the leaders, pray for stability in the government, and pray for resources, so the people do not suffer more than this."