Amid Egypt Turmoil, Local Bible Society Head Asks Prayers to Help Christians with Scriptures

(Photo Credit: Bible Society of Egypt)A person distributes biblical literature in a file photo included in the Bible Society of Egypt's 2011 Annual report.

The head of the Bible Society of Egypt asked for prayers on Wednesday to help the organization support Christians with scripture messages amid a "politically complex situation" facing the nation.

"Please pray for God's overruling in this politically complex situation," wrote Ramez Atallah, the organization's General Director in a newsletter.

"Please pray that as a Bible Society we may know how to help Christians with messages from the Scriptures which will encourage and challenge them during these turbulent days."

On Tuesday in a separate newsletter Atalah said the future of "genuine democratic liberties" in the country was "in serious jeopardy and many Egyptians are both discouraged and angry."

"Isn't it wonderful to know that our citizenship is in heaven and that what we have invested there cannot be affected by anything here," he wrote.

Atallah wrote on Wednesday that he was one of the demonstrators protesting near the Presidential Palace on Tuesday in the wake of a November 22 decree by President Mohamed Mursi that expanded his powers. The President has also pushed for a referendum on a new constitution on December 15.

He criticized the leaders of the nation.

"The present rulers of Egypt are extremely stubborn and do not value a pluralistic society," he said.

Atallah said he saw "no violence" at Tuesday's protest despite there being "so many angry people" congregating in such a small place.

"This was a peaceful demonstration and everyone was being courteous to their neighbors," he wrote.

In the Tuesday newsletter he asked for prayers that there would be no violence and that the president and his advisors would be willing to listen to some of the opposition demands, Atallah said the "Islamist Government is trying to impose a particularly conservative view of Islam on the population in general."

"I do believe that many of your prayers were answered," he said on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that stones and petrol bombs flew between opposition protesters and supporters of the President in front of the palace.

Riot police were deployed between the two sides to stop the confrontations, the report stated.

Atallah said the "immediate future for Egypt is bleak."

With an upcoming referendum on the nation's constitution on December 15th, Atallah says that even if reforms he's opposed to do not pass, the President will still retain powers he claimed for himself by decree.

"So for many moderate Muslims and Christians we seemed to be faced with a lose lose situation," he wrote.

"Because of this some have called for the boycott of the referendum but this will certainly mean that it will pass," he added. "There is a very slight chance that if the referendum is not rigged a majority may vote against the new constitution. But as I said if this happens we will still be left with a President who has taken unto himself unprecedented powers."

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