As we watch the events in Egypt unfold, it’s useful to consider the following:
1) Egypt is a Sunni country, which means it considers religious authority differently than countries like, for example, Iran.
2) Egypt has a long history of secularism.
3) Egypt is the largest, by population, Arab country. Consequently, there are a diversity of active groups and actors. The Muslim Brotherhood is not the only active political group in Egypt, and there is a diversity even within that organization. Our fears are generally projections.
4) There is a deep, public, awareness of a historic Christian presence. Even Egyptian Muslims are aware that Christianity has an ancient provenance there.
5) Egypt has ties to the west that date back to ancient Greece; some have argued that Egypt deeply influenced Greek culture. More recently, tourism is an important part of the Egyptian economy.
6) The revolt was not simply about politics, but perhaps about food. Wheat has doubled in price, causing enormous hunger all over the world. This may be enough to begin revolts, perhaps all over the world.
Lord, have mercy