Religious freedom has come a long way in Egypt since the Arab Spring and subsequent persecution.
President el-Sisi took over in 2014 and recently lifted a four-and-half year state of emergency order, citing stability. He put the state of emergency in place after several terrorist bombings at churches.
“El-Sisi has been very gracious to Christians in Egypt. [He’s] been one of the best leaders, as far as respecting Christian beliefs, in the Middle East for a long time. But, of course, that doesn’t mean everybody follows the leader,” Uncharted Ministries’ Tom Doyle says.
Egyptian believers, especially those from a Muslim background, still have to watch their backs. “Even though the leader of the government says ‘We’re not going to allow persecution of Christians,’ it’s still happening,” Doyle says.
“It’s typical for people sharing the Gospel with Muslims to get threats routinely. These can come from terrorist groups; the oppressive Muslim brotherhood is there (in Egypt).”
Abel and his wife Anna have a thriving ministry reaching Muslims for Christ in Egypt. It quickly drew the wrong sort of attention, but the Lord had a different plan in mind for Abel’s family.
“We thank God for a miracle. This is a beautiful picture of redemption and deliverance,” Doyle says.
“They didn’t die as martyrs. God’s not finished with them, and He’s going to use them more.”
A few weeks ago, Uncharted Ministries shared the following on its 8thirty8 Facebook page:
Abel and his wife Anna have a thriving ministry reaching Muslims for Christ in Egypt.
They often received threats to their life.
This phone call was different. The angry man on the other end explicitly promised to kill Abel, his wife and daughter with details of where they lived. Abel immediately sent his wife and 4-year-old Sofia to stay with her parents in another city in Egypt.
For three months Abel laid low during the day and only went out at night under the cover of darkness.
But then the unthinkable happened. On a short errand one evening, Abel was abducted. The kidnappers grabbed him, threw a black hood over his face, forced him into a van and sped away.
They drove for 3-4 hours. Abel prayed and the Lord gave him peace in his heart even though he was sure that the men intended to kill him. They drove deep into the desert where the car came to an abrupt stop. They dragged Abel onto the sand and beat him terribly with the hood still over his face. Then they left him to die.
Even though he was badly hurt he was miraculously alive!
Still unsure of where he was, Abel prayed asking the Lord which direction to walk. It took him hours to find a road. A driver pulled over and Abel asked: “Where am I?” He borrowed the driver’s cell phone and called his wife.
A day later he and Anna were reunited and then went further underground. After a month they headed to the airport not knowing if they would be recognized and detained in Cairo.
Praise God, they made it safely to another country in the Middle East this month! They plan to remain there for 3-6 months and are praying about returning to Egypt to resume their work.
Father, we give You great praise for saving Abel’s life! It was a miracle as his kidnappers were intent on his death. We thank You for making them invisible to pass through airport security undetected and arriving at a place of safety with other believers who are caring for them. Give them wisdom to know whether they should return to Egypt to continue their ministry. They have put their lives into Your hands and trust You completely for their future. Bless their ministry for You and may countless other Muslims who are searching for spiritual answers find their hope in Jesus. With great thankfulness we pray in Your amazing name. Amen.
“God is to us a God of deliverances; and to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.” –Psalm 68:20
Written by Katey Hearth. This story originally appeared at Mission Network News and is republished here with permission.