Egyptian State Interferes in Personal Status Laws

05/23/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – As an Islamic country, Egypt is technically governed by Sharia law. Christians are officially given some degree of independence for how their personal statuses (marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance) are legally handled.

The top three Christian denominations in Egypt—Catholic, Coptic, and Evangelical—are currently preparing a final draft which would update their personal status laws. An anonymous church source told The Tablet that the Egyptian State is interfering on issues relating to adoption. Therefore, the churches are having to “tread lightly” in developing this issue. Adoption is a sensitive issue as Sharia law does not allow genealogies to mix, therefore adoption is prohibited. The goal of this is to ensure clear application of inheritance.

While personal status laws are marketed as giving Christians some degree of relief from following strict Sharia, regular state interference shows the depth to which these laws can provide a cover for further discrimination and marginalization of Christians.

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