April 26, 2021
Mustafa, a 30-year-old Egyptian man, hates going to his mosque and dislikes the guilt trips used to extract his zakat, or monthly tithe.
“In America, it’s all about the money, even in the mosques,” he complains while sitting in the deli he owns in New Jersey. “I haven’t returned since the last time they shouted at me for money. I hate that place!”
Many Egyptian Muslims migrated to America in the 1960s and 70s, preceding the Arabs from other countries who would later arrive in New Jersey and New York.
Egyptian communities are large and established, and they support many large mosques. Many Muslims strive for material success while feeling pressure to conform to the expectations of Muslim culture.
Mustafa says it’s the same old story. You leave the closed community of the Egyptian homeland for a closed Arabic community in the U.S.
Work hard and conform to the religious identity of your homeland: That’s the typical cultural expectation.
Despite these hurdles, many of the 48,000 Egyptian Muslims in the cities of Astoria, Ridgewood, Bay Ridge, Jersey City, and Bayonne are taking advantage of the freedoms the U.S. offers. Some have surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Spirit of God moves among Egyptian Muslims who seek after him.
Pray that Egyptian Muslims may find freedom as they struggle to conform to cultural and religious expectations.
- May the Spirit of God lead Egyptians to Jesus. Ask God to give them courage and time to seek after Jesus.
- Pray for the budding Arab church in the Metro New York region, which includes many Egyptians of Muslim background.
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