Daily Archives: October 24, 2008

Mohammed Ali Mosque in Cairo

Mohammed (or Mohammad) Ali Alabaster Mosque in Cairo. No, not the boxer. He took the same name. Mohammed Ali was an Albanian who played a prominent role in the history of Egypt during the 19th century. He brought numerous reforms to Egypt and his influence continued until the middle of the 20th century.

Mohammed Ali Alabaster Mosque in Cairo. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Mohammed Ali Alabaster Mosque in Cairo. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

My first visit here was in 1967. I vividly recall sitting on the floor of the mosque with the others of my group listening to our guide, Ahmad, explain about the history of the mosque and answering any questions we had about the Muslim religion. Someone asked him if one was free to be a Christian in Egypt. He said, “Yes, if you are born a Christian you are free to be a Christian.” He went on to say that one would not make a change of religion unless there was some bad motive involved.

In many countries the preaching of the gospel of Christ is not freely allowed. The very nature of the gospel assumes that one must make a change in order to be acceptable to God. Jesus makes this clear in his discussion with the Jewish leader Nicodemus. A spiritual birth is necessary for one to become a Christian.

Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5 NET)