Thus far, Egypt has always used the excuse of not recognizing the Baha'i Faith in order to deny the Baha'is their civil rights. Egypt has clearly stated that it only recognizes three religions as divine, namely: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Officially it will grant anyone who is a follower of any of these religions his or her full citizenship rights.
Now, this case involves a man who supposedly belongs to one of the three recognized religions in Egypt, but apparently because he had converted from Islam to Christianity, he is being denied his rights. However, legal conversion from Christianity to Islam occurs regularly in Egypt, and those who convert have no difficulty whatsoever in obtaining ID documents stating that they are Muslims.
Here is his story:
Tuesday August 07, 2007
EGYPT: MUSLIM SUES FOR RIGHT TO CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY
Christian's attorney facing death threats from Egyptian security police.
ISTANBUL, August 6 (Compass Direct News) – A Muslim convert to Christianity filed suit against Egypt last week for refusing to legally recognize his change of religion, sparking a reactionary lawsuit by Muslim clerics and death threats against his lawyer.
Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy, 24, brought a case against Egypt’s interior ministry on Thursday (August 2) for rejecting his application to replace Islam with Christianity on his personal identification papers.
“I think it is my natural right, to embrace the religion I believe and not to have to have a double personality for me as well as for my wife and my expected baby,” said Hegazy, who converted to Christianity when he was 16.
Though Egyptian law does not forbid conversion from Islam to Christianity, it provides no legal means to make the change. Converts to Christianity usually hide their identity to avoid torture and forced recantation at the hands of family members and security police.
Hegazy, whose wife Zeinab is four months pregnant, said that he wants his child to be born with Christian papers. The couple, who were forced to hold an Islamic wedding ceremony because of their legal status as Muslims, know that a Christian ID card will allow their child to take Christian religion classes in school, marry in a church and even openly attend services without fear of harassment. Read the rest here....