The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA is calling on Christians to pray for a period of calm in Egypt in light of a volatile political atmosphere and massive protests planned for Cairo on Tuesday. Demonstrations and violence have been on the increase since President Mohammed Morsi issued a decree last Thursday that gives him more legislative power and protects his decisions from any judicial oversight.
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"We as Christians need to pray that that there will not be mass killings on the scale we saw at the start of the revolution almost two years ago," Open Doors communications director Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post Monday. "Egypt needs a period of calm, not more violence. But obviously Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have hijacked the high hopes of the revolution while increasing the persecution of Christians."
On Monday, Morsi told the nation's top judges that he did not infringe on their authority when he declared that he has near absolute powers, The Associated Press reported. A prolonged showdown between supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader appears inevitable. The large protests planned for Tuesday could be extremely intense, according to observers.
In Cairo's Tahrir square, protests continued Monday for a fifth day as tens of thousands filled the location where the country's revolution took place and scene of ongoing demonstrations. Protestors are demanding that Morsi reverse his proclamation that he has near-absolute powers.
Clashes have erupted throughout the country between three different groups involving supporters and opponents of Morsi, along with police and military forces, in some cases fighting against both groups, according to an anonymous Christian leader whose name cannot be revealed for security reasons.
"We Christians are not sure, together with most Egyptians, if we should actually take the risk and go to work and drive through the city, or should we just stay at home waiting for the unknown," blogs the Christian leader. "Sunday night, I visited a group of friends from church. The host family lives in a 17th floor apartment with an overwhelming view from their balcony over the Nile and the city of Cairo.
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SOURCE: Christian Post