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Comparing Christianity and the Religion of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egyptian Religion
Christianity
God Historians believe ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, though not all were worshipped in the same area or time period. One ancient king is said to have worshipped only one god, but it was not the God of the Bible. Christians believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Followers The ancient religion died out little by little as Christianity spread in Egypt. In recent times, some non-Christians outside of Egypt have taken an interest in Egyptian gods. (These gods are false gods according to biblical beliefs.) Some New Age followers in the U.S., for example, now pray to Isis, an Egyptian goddess. More than 2 billion people in the world today call themselves Christians.
Holy Books No single book was considered holy. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a collection of spells and magic that supposedly helped the dead deal with the afterlife. Christians believe the Holy Bible is the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
Afterlife Many archaeologists believe rulers had the pyramids built to serve as their tombs. They believed they could enjoy material possessions after death. Their bodies were preserved as mummies because they believed preserving them would help their soul survive properly. In heaven believers enjoy unbroken fellowship with God for eternity. (See Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and 1 Thessalonians 5:10.)
Salvation Egyptians believed they would be judged after their death for their deeds done on earth. One belief was that the dead person’s heart would be weighed with a feather on the other side of the scale. If the heart was heavy with evil deeds and weighed more than the feather, the person would not have a good afterlife. Doing good deeds is not enough for salvation. (See Ephesians 2:8,9.) Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Egypt: The Christian and the Imams

Egypt

One day, an Egyptian Christian visited two imams from a large mosque. An imam is a Muslim religious leader, and a mosque is a Muslim place of worship. (The photo to the left shows the inside of a mosque.)

The Christian told the imams, “I have some questions about Islam and would like to know more.” (Islam is the religion of Muslims.) The imams were delighted. Maybe they mistakenly thought the Christian wanted to become a Muslim.

Egyptian Muslims who become Christians are often persecuted by their families and the authorities, and are often treated unfairly. But Christians who convert to Islam are welcomed by Muslims. Some Christians in Egypt are tempted to become Muslims so they will have more privileges and fairer treatment from Muslim neighbors and officials.

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Egypt

Egypt

Egypt

RESTRICTED

Capital
Cairo

Size
In area, Egypt is larger than Texas and smaller than Alaska.

Main Languages
Arabic, English, French

Time
At 6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2 p.m. in Egypt.

Interesting Fact
Falafel is a food made of mashed chickpeas or beans shaped into patties. McDonald’s restaurants in Egypt serve falafel in a sandwich. They call it the McFalafel. 

History
Egypt had a strong civilization even in the time of the Old Testament. After Christ, it became a mostly Christian country. Arabs arrived in the seventh century, bringing the Arabic language and the Muslim religion with them.

Religion
Today more than 85 percent of the people in Egypt are Muslim.

Persecution
Christianity is allowed, but Christians do not always have an easy time practicing their faith. They are often treated unfairly by teachers, police officers, and bosses. Muslims sometimes object to having churches built in their communities.

By law, Christian men may not marry Muslim women. Sometimes Christian  men, women, and children are kidnapped by radical Muslims. Muslims who leave Islam to follow Christ suffer serious persecution.