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-Egyptian Sisters Facing Prison for Professing Christ

by Dr. D ~ October 19th, 2008

Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

Picture- Wikipedia

Two sisters are facing 3 years in jail for professing to be Christians. Apparently their father converted to Islam, so legally the sisters became Muslim whether they wanted to or not under Egypt’s unequal religious laws.

It is illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity, however Christians are encouraged to convert to Islam. When a father converts, all of his children legally become Muslim.

Both sisters are married, one with children. If the ruling against them stands, the marriage to their Christian husbands will become null, and the children will automatically be registered as Muslims, even though they have been raised as Christians. Read the entire story from the VOM Persecuted Church Weblog and from Compass Direct.

Response: Sharia law is recognized in Egypt and creates an unequal legal system for all those who are not Muslim. The results are unconscionable in this case, splitting marriages and families up in the name of Islam.

Those in the West really do need to consider what the institution of Sharia might bring into their midst with so many Muslims asking for its implementation. Even in Muslim dominated countries like Egypt, it results in an unequal legal system that always favors Men over women and Muslims over those of any other faith.            *Top

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4 Responses to -Egyptian Sisters Facing Prison for Professing Christ

  1. Shukri

    Christians in Egypt have their own Christian family law. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Judicial_System.

    So why shouldn’t Muslims in the West be allowed to have their family disputes mediated according to their religion?


    p.s: this is an old story. See: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gWAdeTNMOeMfyPaOwrYpODjNAQJA

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks for your comments Shukri,

    1. However, this is not an old story but an on-going one–the details are in the Compass Direct story I linked to. On Sept.23, 2008, the second sister was sentenced–Bahia, just like her sister Shadia had been in 2007.

    Also, the case goes before the Egypt’s Supreme Court next week. So the case is still current.

    2. This is not a case of family dispute in a family court. It demonstrates the uneven and unfair justice system that Christians face in Egypt even though they are supposed to have ‘freedom of religion’ it is mostly a sham from a Christian perspective. From the Compass article:

    Ramses will appeal to Egypt’s Supreme Court in next week. He said he worries the case could further erode the precarious situation of religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country of 79 million.

    “How can the government say to [someone] who has lived 50 years in a Christian way that they must become a Muslim and their children must be Muslim and their whole family must all be Muslims?” he said. “This is very important for the freedom of religion.”

    Egypt’s constitution guarantees freedom of belief and practice for the country’s Christian minority, which makes up 10 percent of the population. Islam, however, is the official state religion and heavily influences the government and court system.

    The case is an example of the social pressure put on Egyptian non-Muslims to convert when one of their parents embraces Islam, despite the constitution guaranteeing equality, said Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of Watani.

    “This is a sick environment that we struggle to change,” Sidhom stated. “According to what is taking place here freedom is protected and provided for Christians to convert to Islam while the opposite is not provided.”

    Egyptian courts have continued to discriminate against Christians who have one Muslim parent, according to human rights reports, as the judiciary gives them no choice but to convert to Islam.

    3. The basis of all Western law is that all are to have equal access to justice under the law, this is not the case wherever sharia is implemented.

    4. Western law is now secular, though is was once based on Christianity, it recognizes all religions as equal under the law. If sharia is allowed in Western countries than there would be uneven different dueling systems of law in the land. Christians would then also want their own separate law and maybe Budhists also?

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