Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, October 15, 2007

Christian rights group supporting Egyptian man in conversion case

Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy, the first Muslim to file suit against the Egyptian government for not allowing him to change his religion to Christianity on his national identification card, today fears for his life and has been forced into hiding as a result of death threats, according to Open Doors USA, a Christian rights group advocating on his behalf.

According to the article, “Some believe the punishment for apostasy from Islam should be death.”

“I’m full of heartache that in my own country, society has been radicalized to such an extent that I can’t have the right to convert,” Hegazy said.

The Egyptian constitution states that freedom of religion is guaranteed, and converting from one religion to another is permitted. However, as the article notes, “there is no legal way for a Christian convert to have this change recorded on the official ID cards that Egyptian citizens are required to carry. If an Egyptian converts to Islam, the interior ministry readily issues a new ID card verifying that the carrier is Muslim. Yet if a Muslim converts to Christianity, the ministry refuses to issue a new ID card.”

“When Muslims convert to Christianity, they face persecution at the hands of both their family and the Egyptian government,” the article says. Hegazy was imprisoned in 2002 when the police found out about his conversion.

For full article, click here

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