For several days now, Egyptians have been protesting peacefully in the streets of Cairo. If this country gets into extremist Muslim hands, the entire world situation and the security of the United States will be in the balance. This is already affecting the US markets. Many of us aren't familiar with Egypt or its history. Egypt was pivotal to the early development of Christianity, in fact Alexandria was a great center of Christian learning. And there is still a sizeable group of Christians in that country. Egyptian Christians have faced terrible persecution in recent years. Shenouda III who is the leader of their Christian denomination, has begged the government to protect Christians from persecution. Many believe they preserve ancient traditions from the time of Christ and the early years of Christianity. In this video, you can see him, appealing to the government and the world(don't be surprised by their clothing, it comes from a very ancient Christian tradition): But today, and in fact for many years, ALL Egyptians are suffering due to the strict autocratic government. Today they are calling for changes to a more democratic rule. They are protesting peacefully in the streets. It is hoped that changes woud benefit ALL people of Egypt. Today, the police have moved in with water cannons and are attempting to clear the streets. Cairo is in an official lockdown. If you wish, please take a moment today to think of the people of Egypt who are hoping for a better life and a more democratic government. My quiet hope is that such changes would help to end the persecution of Christians in Egypt as they are in such a terrible situation, but I hope all will benefit. Egypt has been the US' ally and has helped greatly in maintaining peace with more extreme countries in the middle east. Egypt is critical as a bulwark against Iran, and has the Suez canal, an important waterway for the world. It is a pro-Western country that is trying very hard to bring better conditions to its citizens. -------------------- Updates: It appears that the government has succeeded in shutting down all internet access in and out of Egypt. Some analysts are concerned that this predicts a severe backlash. The protests are now taking place not just in Cairo, but also in Alexandria and Suez. The protesters are asking for the president to step down, and are protesting their living conditions, lack of employment, corruption in food pricing, etc. My SO says that Obama brought all these issues out when he met with the leader in Cairo. News reports stress that all levels of our government are contacting the Egyptian government at this time. Update: The military has been called in to Cairo and will be backing up the police. Update: Opposition leader has been put on house arrest. Update: US press update has been delayed as the situation has deteriorated severely on the ground in Egypt, Mubarak (pres. of Egypt) has declined to speak to the people of his country. Our cabinet is extremely concerned about the deteriorating situation. Update: The main government buildings are burning and fighting in the street is escalating - the crowds are actually beating back the police and capturing police vehicles and appear to be removing equipment from government buildings. Update: The police and soldiers have withdrawn and there appears to be no government presence at all. No authorities in view. Update: Our press secretary is urging the Egyptian government to respond to the Egyptian grievances and violence is not the answer. Our government is working on 'position' - in other words, either the government responds appropriately to the people or our purse strings are tied shut. Update: there are now unconfirmable reports coming in that the Egyptian police are fighting the Egyptian military. Update: The Egyptian president has announced that he has fired the government and will present a new government tomorrow morning. But he will still be president. Update: President Obama spoke, urging the Egyptian government to make good on promises to reform and exercise restraint, he also asked the people in the streets to remain peaceful. Update: Most of the pictures in the street I'm seeing are of young people, some young families with women and children along. In Alexandria, the crowds beat back the police and the police withdrew. These people are not going to give up.