By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

13 October 2008

Egypt Jails Christian Woman In Religious Dispute

CAIRO, EGYPT (BosNewsLife)-- There was concern Friday, October 10, about the situation of an Egyptian Coptic Christian woman who has been sentenced to three years in prison for "refusing" to follow her late father's conversion to Islam, Coptic Christians with close knowledge about the case said.

Bahia Nagy El-Sisi was sentenced for “forgery of an official document,” confirmed the United Copts of Great Britain advocacy group, which has closely monitored the case.

Her sister, Shadia El-Sisi was tried for stating her religion as Christian on her marriage certificate and sentenced to three years imprisonment in November last year. She was released two months later, amid international pressure.

Shadia and Bahia Nagy El-Sisi, both in their late 40s and residents of the small east Delta town Mit-Ghamr, were detained and tried for claiming their official religious identity as Christian. Unknown to them, their religious identity changed 46 years ago due to their father’s brief conversion to Islam, to divorce his wife and gain custody of his daughters, the defense team said.


Under Egyptian legislation, which is influenced by Islamic law, child custody is awarded to whichever parent has the "superior" religion and dictates "no jurisdiction of a non-Muslim over a Muslim."

If Bahia El-Sisi’s identity as a Muslim stands, then her religious status could potentially create a domino effect that would require her husband to convert to Islam or have their marriage nullified, analysts said.

News of the ruling came after Christians already confirmed that A Christian mother in Egypt lives in fear that police will take away her two sons after their Muslim father won a controversial custody battle.


The Appeal Court of the town of Alexandria granted custody of 13-year-old Christian twins Andrew and Mario to her husband, despte laws spelling out the mother's right to keep custody over children till the age of 15.

Both boys have also made clear in statements they want to remain Christians, BosNewsLife monitored.

Rights groups of Copts have said there has been growing Islamic extremism in Egypt, although the government has made clear it wants to fight militants.

12:30 Posted in Egypt | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

The comments are closed.