While it is illegal to do so, there are evangelical forces operating in Egypt to convert Muslims to Christianity. The two very famous ones are the Protestant Qasr El Dobara church in downtown Egypt, and the Coptic St. Mark Church in Shobra. Qasr El Dobara does good old evanagelism through usually really good sermons, and if you ever go there, you would find that the first 3 rows usually have Hijabis in them. It is rumored that Muslim Evangelist Superstar Amr Khaled actually spent 2 years attending the Qasr ElDobara services in order to learn the ins and outs of evangelistic speeching. One of m christian friends once told me that when he first heard Amr Khaled he thought it was one of Qasr El Dobara's tapes. But that's not our Story. Our Story has to do with St. Mark's church.
You see, St. Mark, on the other hand, doesn't really count on sermons: they convert through exorcisms. Yep, that's right. Exorcisms. I once saw a video of one of his conversions (By the way, there is a whole underground thing with movies and plays in the egyptian coptic community. Forbidden plays, testimonials of the recently converted, and tons of other stuff. And they usually don't share them. Hmmph.. Copts are no fun!) where he did the exorcism on a muslim boy, and then told him to do the mark on the Cross on his chest, and when the boy refused, Makari told him that he should do it, because it was Jesus who kicked the demon out, and then left the boy's side, who eventually, and kind of defeatedly, ended up doing the mark of the cross to joyous applause from the congregation. And stuff like this supposedly happens, like, every week.
And now AFP did a story on him:
Every Friday, thousands of Christians and a handful of curious Muslims pour into Cairo's St Mark's Coptic church to hear Father Makari Yunan preach, drawn by his power to exorcise demons.
Vigorously splashing holy water from a gardening can, the white-bearded
Makari has been healing the sick and casting out demons for 32 years.
People come from all over Egypt and even from as far afield as the United States.
Throughout the three-hour service, shouts and screams can be heard from the affected, writhing amid the pews.
Some of the people eventually faint, collapsing to the floor.
Unconscious, they are picked up by attendants to be unceremoniously
dumped near the altar pending their exorcism.
Makari says some Egyptian newspapers and television stations have taken
him to task over the presence of Muslims in his congregation.
"I don't heal people, Jesus does. For me there is no difference between
Muslims and Christians. Everything is done in the name of Jesus.
"People know I do this for Jesus. I don't ask for anything in exchange.
I perform a service and it doesn't matter if people accept it or not.
"It's normal that Muslims and Christians come to the church," says
Muslim teenager Nur. "Muslims come to be healed by the priest. He's
really very kind, he heals us when we need it."
Needless to say that writing this story puts that church under the spotlight, which is something I am not sure Makari or his congregation wants. And if this article gets translated into arabic, some newspapers in Egypt would have a field day stoking sectarian fire and talking about the Evil Coptic Priest who tricks simpleminded muslims.