EGYPT – COURT PROCRASTINATES ON CHANGES TO CONVERT’S ID CARD

Barnabas Fund. An Egyptian court has suspended the case of Christian convert Mohamed Hegazy, aged 27, who has been trying for three years to have the religion that is listed on his national ID card changed from “Muslim” to “Christian”. Hegazy initially requested the change in August 2007 but this first request was refused. Although having one’s ID card amended is easy when converting to Islam from other religions, Egyptian authorities do not acknowledge the conversion of Muslims to any another religion. ID cards are vital in Egyptian society, and being considered legally as “Muslims” creates huge practical problems for Egyptian Christians from a Muslim background. Hegazy’s lawsuit was suspended on 27 April 2010 pending a ruling yet to be made in a 2009 case in the Constitutional Court, which has challenged the section of the Civil Code that allows citizens to change their name and religions on official documents. This postponement could leave him in limbo for years while the courts continue to evade making a decision. This is a key test case as approval could set an important precedent for Christians in Egypt.

• Pray for Mohamed Hegazy and his wife, who have been forced to live in hiding since 2007. Pray that they will find comfort and safety in the Lord as Mr Hegazy continues to fight for the right to be legally recognised as a Christian. 

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