Middle East

Egyptian Churches Give Up on Helping to Create New Constitution

Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics jointly withdraw, saying assembly marginalizes non-Islamists.

In another blow to Egypt's democratic transition, representatives of the Muslim nation's three main Christian bodies jointly decided to end their participation in writing a new constitution.

"The constitution ... in its current form does not meet the desired national consensus and does not reflect the pluralistic identity of Egypt," said Bishop Pachomious, acting patriarch for the Coptic Orthodox Church. The announcement was made one day before Pope Tawadros II assumed the papal throne of St. Mark, the gospel writer.

A primary complaint is over the role of shari'ah. Article Two of Egypt's 1971 constitution, as well as the current draft of the new constitution, enshrines the "principles" of shari'ah to be the primary source of legislation. Pope Tawadros does not dispute the article as currently defined–including its designation of Islam as the religion of the state. But all churches reject its expansion.

"They left Article Two as is, but then added another article defining the principles of ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.
November
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.