Copts to protest Thursday to demand civil Marriages

Emad Khalil
04/07/2011

Egyptian Copts on Monday called for protests on Thursday outside the Ministry of Justice to demand civil marriages.

The Orthodox Church in Egypt only permits divorce in the case of adultery or change of religion, and allows widows and widowers to remarry. Egyptian authorities do not recognize civil marriages without the consent of the Church.

The pressure group “Copts for Civil Marriage” movement called for protests to demand that the government pass a law allowing them the right to civil marriages independent of Coptic Church involvement.

The three main Christian denominations in Egypt are currently discussing the personal status law for non-Muslims. The Catholic Church said that the Orthodox Church has toughened its position on divorce, which it only permits in the case of adultery and urges other Coptic dominations to do so as well.

Ayman George, the protest coordinator, told Al-Masry Al-Youm, “Our protest is a message to the cabinet and the Ministry of Justice to release them from any feelings of awkwardness with regard to the Egyptian Church.”

George described the proposed personal status law as “a death sentence”.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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