“There are conservatives and liberals and Christians and Muslims but we’re all one. We are Egypt,” said Philippe, an Egyptian Christian. We met Philippe today when we got to visit some churches here. He’s a worship leader in his church and is passionate about bringing people together using his music.
So we drove through an extremely poor area called the “Garbage City,” where people literally live among piles of garbage that they sort for recycling. After winding through the narrow streets, we reached the Cave Church. The place was spectacular. It looks like a huge amphitheater carved into a mountain. It made me think of Red Rocks in Denver.
We were with our three new Muslim friends the whole time. All of them have close Christian friends, even as we were driving back to the hotel, they said they’d never had so much “Christian stuff” in one day. We’ll have the chance to talk with them more tomorrow before we leave, so I’m excited to hear their perspective.
At the church, Philippe explained that when the revolution began last year, Christians and Muslims became extremely united. Christians surrounded Muslims so that the Muslims could pray peacefully, and vice versa. His heart is for the youth as they’re crying out for freedom and dignity in their country. He wrote a song about unity and the fact that they are all are Egypt, and he also sang a song in the streets about how he loves Muslims and how hate is not an option for anyone.
Recently, politics have gotten in the way, causing tension between Muslims and Christians. But people are not giving up hope. Philippe said last month there was a prayer rally at the Cave Church with 30,000 people worshipping and praying from 6pm to 6am. That’s amazing. I believe the most people here do try to love their neighbor, and they simply want freedom and dignity for everyone.