Dr. Abdel Halim Kandil, a prominent Egyptian journalist, expressed his rejection of a quota system for Copts and other religious minorities to ensure their representation in parliament that is being considered in the new draft of the country's constitution.
Kandil insited that they should be treated as Egyptian citizens with full rights with the understanding that Copts in the country have been suffering for centuries.
"Copts have been suffering from religious discrimination since Ottoman rule in Egypt," Kandil told Mideast Christian News. "The displacement of Copts is a major crime," he added. more >>
The Egyptian Coalition for Minorities (ECM) has called on the Egyptian state to ensure the freedom for all Egyptians to practice their religion and beliefs.
The coalition expressed its "deep dissatisfaction" with the government's decision to close the Hussein Mosque today on the commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein bin Ali, one of the four grand imams of Shiite Muslim community in order to prevent Shiite rituals in celebration of Ashura in a statement issued today.
ECM said this is a "clear violation" of the right to religious worship, and an actual application of Article 219 on the interpretation of Islamic Sharia in the disabled Constitution of 2012. Adding that such action shed light on the extent of the influence of the Wahhabi current on official decisions issued by the government. more >>
An evangelistic event, "Count it Right," began last night in Egypt where thousands of Christians are expected to attend over the course of three-days despite the very real possibility of facing persecution.
The event is being held 70 miles north of Cairo, and although 26,000 people are anticipated to appear, event organizers fear that Islamic extremists may have also purchased tickets for the conference to carry out acts of violence.
"Because the organizers do not know how many Muslims may have purchased tickets for the rally, please pray for them that their lives may be changed to know Jesus as their Savior by the love they will feel from the staff and by the life changing-messages," wrote Open Doors, a California-based ministry that aids Christians in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, on its website. more >>
Frustrated by their seeming lack of efficacy in creating a more moderate Egyptian constitution, Coptic Christians have threatened to walk out on a committee charged with creating the new document.
Thus far, Egypt's Al-Nour party, which has been given one seat on the 50-person constitutional panel, has lobbied for an article defining Shariah law.
Despite Al-Nour's minority voice and the fact that secularists and liberals make up much higher numbers than the radical group on the panel, Christians do not believe that any progress will be made if the party is present. more >>
Said Abdel Massih, head of the Egyptian Center for Development and Human Rights (ECDHR), has called on the 50-member committee tasked with amending the 2012 Egyptian constitution to allocate a quota for Copts in parliament in an effort to quell sectarian strife and provide added representation and protection for Copts.
Abdel Massih insisted that a quota system for Copts would be a means of addressing sectarian problems, adding that there had been violence incidents associated with nominations of Copts to office.
He cited a case of looting and burning of the house and law firm of Ehab Ramzi, a Coptic lawyer in Minya, in addition to an incident in early April when Copt Alaa Samir ran for parliament. more >>
Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has insisted he is still the country's legitimate leader at the start of his trial on Monday, which has now been adjourned until Jan. 8, following several interruptions.
"This is a military coup whose leaders must be put on trial in accordance with the constitution," Morsi declared before the court, according to The Associated Press.
"I am the president of the republic and I am here against my will. What is happening here is providing cover for the military coup." The 14 other Muslim Brotherhood co-defendants reportedly chanted "down, down with military coup." more >>