Christian Newswire / 16 MAR 2015 – The distribution of 1.65 million Scripture leaflets designed to bring comfort to a nation in mourning is well under way across Egypt, following the murder of 21 young Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya last month.
“This is by far the most widely distributed Christian leaflet in Egypt’s history,” notes Ramez Atallah from the Bible Society of Egypt, which created the leaflet the day after the video of the killing was released.
Distribution of the ‘Two Rows by the Sea’ leaflet began just two days later, at Coptic Pope Tawadros’ weekly Bible study in the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo. The leaflets were rapidly made available in churches across the country.
“Because of the nationwide distress over these brutal assassinations, and because the leaflet was so quickly available, Christians have been distributing it everywhere – streets, shops, buses, and trains,” says Mr. Atallah. “And it’s reaching people from all walks of life: we have heard many cases of Christians receiving it through Muslim friends and neighbours who got it first!”
The leaflet features a poem about the faith of the young men, and contains a collection of five Scripture passages.
“We wanted to provide something that would comfort the grieving,” notes Mr. Atallah. “People are in despair and have so many questions about why those young men were killed. And while there are no easy answers, the Bible reminds us that there will be times of trial but that God’s love for us is everlasting.
“1 Peter 4:12, for instance, says, ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful train you are suffering.’ It goes onto say in verse 14, ‘If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.'”
Mr. Atallah says that the killing of the young men has united Christians and Muslims in the troubled country.
“ISIS hoped that the killing would foment sectarian strife in Egypt between Christians and Muslims, but it has had the opposite effect. Christians have responded by sorrowfully calling out to God, and Muslims have shown love and care towards them.
“Please join us in praying that during this period of sadness and unprecedented openness God will use this Scripture leaflet to comfort and challenge many Egyptians.”
United Bible Societies operates in over 200 countries and territories, translating, publishing and distributing the Bible.