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Controversy over Christian reconverts‎
Controversy over Christian reconverts‎
The influx of cases of reconverts to Christianity and the demands their identification papers be changed has led to a number of legal cases against the government for what Christians come Muslims come Christians are calling discrimination.
Monday, September 14,2009 08:09
IkhwanWeb

CAIRO: The influx of cases of reconverts to Christianity and the demands their identification papers be changed has led to a number of legal cases against the government for what Christians come Muslims come Christians are calling discrimination. Egypt’s Court of Administrative Justice says it plans to consider hearing a number of these cases during the judicial session and to make rulings on the controversial cases without the Supreme Constitutional Court’s opinion.

A number of Coptic Christian lawyers have stressed the need for legal assurances over the pending cases, citing freedom of religion clauses in the Egyptian constitution.

The Supreme Constitutional Court is supposed to make a ruling on the constitutionality of the claims over whether a Muslim can reconvert to Christianity. According to strict interpretations of Islamic law, one is barred from converting from Islam and Egypt technically has established Sharia, Islamic law, as a source of legislation.

It hasn’t ended a number of attempts by Egyptians to “reconvert” to Christianity, although the government has yet to allow this to take place.

Hoda Halim Khalil filed a lawsuit last Thursday against Interior Minister Habib el-Adly and the Civil Status Directorate, to appeal against an earlier decision that said she was not allowed to have a new national ID card and birth certificate issued stating Christian as her religion.

Khalil was born to a Christian father, which, according to Egyptian law, would make her a “Christian.” Her story gets complicated upon inspection. According to her statements to reporters on her claim, she grew up as a Coptic Orthodox Christian, but then converted to Islam and changed her name. Now, she wants to return to Christianity.

She added that she received a certificate from the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch as a “returnee” to Christianity, but the Civil Status Department refused to recognize it even though, according to law, the department’s role is to prove the status of her practice of the rites of Christianity and conversion to the Orthodox faith. Officials at the department said this was impossible, calling her an “apostate,” Khalil said.

Counselor Mohammad Husseini, head of the State Council, had ruled during his presidency at the court to stop administrative courts from reviewing and hearing cases of “returnees to Christianity until the decision on the constitutionality of Article 47 of the Civil Code,” or the so-called religious freedom decree.

 

tags: Christian reconverts‎ / Copts / Islamic law / Habib el-Adly / Religion
Posted in Copts  
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