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Egypt Christian group seeks to change Muslim status

ICC Note:

Christians file lawsuit to change religious status on identity documents. Egypt does not acknowledge conversions from Islam.

12/10/2009 Iran (Reuters) – Ayman Raafa, an Egyptian born a Christian, was nine months old when the father he never knew converted to Islam.

Now 23, Raafa is fighting to get the Christian faith he professes recognised by the state and registered on his identity documents vital to daily life.

Raafa was raised a Christian but the state says children automatically become Muslim on a father’s conversion, a policy that places dozens of people in limbo in a society that does not — in practice — recognise conversion away from Islam.

Raafa is one of a group of 40 facing the same identity conundrum and now filing a lawsuit to have their Christian faith recognised, touching a raw spot in relations between Muslims and 10 percent of Egypt’s 77 million people who are Christian.

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