When Linda Miller preached to Christian churches in Egypt in May, a long curtain separated some congregations. Men sat on one side; women on the other.
In one church, in order to maintain eye contact with both groups, she had to preach back and forth between the men's and women's sides. The gender separation was based on the country's Muslim influence, and when Miller had finally had enough of it, she said she challenged the congregation: "Are you walking under the cover of Islam or the cover of the holy Bible? Choose you this day."
They took down the curtain after her public rebuke, and Miller finished her message to men and women who had moved across the aisle and formed a mixed group. At more than one church during her three-month stay in the ancient land of pharaohs and pyramids the curtain came down, Miller said. The Messianic Jew with a heart for Egypt said she has seen the beginnings of revival in this country she calls the "gateway to Africa."
"I've seen a move of God among the Muslims that I've never seen in my life," Miller told Charisma. She would know, as she's made numerous trips to Egypt during the last few years.
She estimated about 1,000 salvations occurred during her May trip. She held meetings primarily in Protestant churches, but God moved outside the churches as well. While talking with a woman in a public park about Jesus, a group of about 150 Muslims gathered. One of her Egyptian team members picked up a guitar, and soon the entire group was singing Christian praise songs in Arabic.
At church services, testimonies of healings and deliverance drew people off the streets into services where they heard the gospel. "The Holy Spirit moved in and did a deep, deep work because it's the hour for revival in Egypt," she said.
Although Miller spoke at many meetings and moved freely throughout Cairo and into the south of Egypt, only a few trusted pastors knew she was a Jew. When asked about her religious background, Miller would sidestep the question. Her British citizenship enabled her to avoid the scorn Americans often receive. She now lives in Atlanta with her husband, who was born in Egypt.
Hatred for Jews runs so deep in Egypt, Miller said, she would not be safe if people there knew her background. As it was, two armed guards dispatched by the government were with her day and night to observe the meetings and protect her from trouble.
While she is encouraged after seeing Muslims and Egyptian Christians stirred by the Holy Spirit, Miller admits two key factors still are needed for revival to occur in Egypt: a true understanding of repentance and a love for Israel.
Egyptian Christians must accept and understand God's view of Israel, she said. While there, she saw a "day of solidarity" at which Egyptian believers supported the Palestinians. She said Egyptians are constantly bombarded through the media by a message of hatred for Israel.
"They've been taught from birth to hate Israel," she said. She shared the biblical view of Israel only with church leaders because congregations may not have been ready to receive such a belief. "This is brand-new work," she said. "No message like this has come forth in Egypt."
Miller said the persecution of Christians in Egypt has increased since 9/11. One Christian man who was drafted into the Egyptian army was beaten severely, she said. Another man was imprisoned for a month after he signed a Bible and gave it to a "friend" who turned out to be a government spy. It is routine for Christians to be falsely accused of crimes and overlooked for job promotions.
After moving from her native England to Cairo in 1992, Miller became severely sick and almost died. In early 1993, God miraculously healed her. When her husband subsequently talked with a colleague in the workplace about Jesus, he was fired by his company. In 1995, the couple moved to the United States.
Now Miller travels regularly to minister in Egypt supported by her businessman husband and speaks to U.S. congregations about the need to pray for Egypt. After Muslims come to the Lord, God will bring in the Jews, she believes. Says Miller: "There must be a body of believers to cry out for Egypt."