International Christian Concern asks for prayer
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Appearing to throw its weight behind an opposition that swarmed Cairo's Tahrir Square, the Egyptian military told the country's civilian government it has until Wednesday evening to "meet the demands of the people" or it will step in to restore order.
Egyptian protesters have given President Morsi
According to a story for CNN by Salma Abdelaziz, Reza Sayah and Ben Wedeman, in a statement carried nationwide on radio and television, the military called the 48-hour ultimatum "a final chance to shoulder the burden of a historic moment in our country."
In an email made available to the ASSIST News Service, International Christian Concern President Jeff King had another perspective on the ultimatum.
He said, " This seems to be great news but we worry that this could be a Morsi strategy to crush the protests while giving himself political cover. The Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting in the wings for 80 years. They will not go down without a fight and they are absolutely not afraid to use brutality."
King said Egypt stands on a precipice. He added, "Whether it tilts toward an Islamic State or a democratic and free one is being worked out in the streets as you read this. The Islamists have been brutal towards Christians throughout their first year of power. If they are not deposed, the future is extremely bleak."
King asked for prayer for Egypt. He said, "Pray for democracy so that the Christians, secularists, and moderate Muslims can live in peace. "
CNN reported that a military spokesman said late Monday the culture of the armed forces - which dominated the country for decades - "doesn't allow it to adopt the policy of military coups."
CNN reported the spokesman, Col. Ahmed Ali, said in a written statement that the statement was meant to push all factions toward quick solutions and a national consensus, and the armed forces aren't looking to be part of the political or ruling circles.
CNN said while insisting they want no direct role in national politics, the generals appeared instead to be pressuring Mohamed Morsy, Egypt's first freely elected president, to restructure his government.
The steps could include reducing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in his cabinet and calling early presidential and parliamentary elections, a source close to highly placed members of Egypt's leadership told CNN.
CNN said the protesters in Tahrir Square, who listened to the military statement on radios and cell phones, cheered as it was read. They roared as military helicopters passed overhead at dusk, trailing Egyptian flags and the banners of the armed services. After nightfall, they waved flags, honked horns and set off fireworks.
"Everyone is talking as if Morsy is officially out of power and the Brotherhood is officially out of power, and everyone is celebrating," Bassem Sabry, an Egyptian writer who took part in Monday's protests, told CNN's Connect the World.
However, CNN reported Morsy's office said early Tuesday that the military statement "has not yet been reviewed" by the president, adding "Egypt, by all its power, will not allow the country to go backwards under any circumstances."
CNN said in the face of the protests, which began over the weekend, five government ministers announced their resignations Monday. The latest was Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Egypt's official MENA news agency report ed.
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