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(Compass) – In an unprecedented verdict on April 13, an Egyptian court ordered the Interior Ministry to return formal Christian identity status to a Coptic Christian who had converted to Islam 11 years ago and then returned to her Christian faith. The decision resolved a six-month stand-off with state security officials and required them to return the Christian I.D. card of Mira Makram Gobran Hanna to her possession. Now 30, Hanna had signed papers in March 1993 to convert to Islam but obtained the approval of the ecclesiastical council to return to the Coptic Orthodox Church 13 months later. Last October, security police forcibly confiscated Hanna’s national I.D. card. Egyptian citizens 16 years and older are required to carry their I.D. cards at all times. The recent ruling in Hanna’s favor upholds the principle of freedom of belief enshrined in the Egyptian Constitution, according to her legal counsel Nagib Gibrael. “This verdict indicates the reliability of the Egyptian courts,” Gibrael told Compass. Under the Egyptian government’s long-standing interpretation of Islamic law, Muslims have been forbidden to convert to another faith.