Blasphemy Charges Becoming New Weapon Against Egyptian Christians

(UPDATED) Female social studies teacher receives blasphemy conviction–but no prison sentence.

Update (June 11): The Associated Press reports that an Egyptian court has convicted one female, Coptic Christian teacher of blasphemy. However, the judge opted not to hand down any prison sentence, only requiring that the woman pay a fine equivalent to US$14,000.

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Update (May 22): The Christian Science Monitors offers more details on the rise in blasphemy cases.

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According to a new study, blasphemy and evangelizing accusations are disproportionately used against members of Egypt's Christian minority–especially those working in education.

A study to be released at the end of this month by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) found that 41 percent of blasphemy cases taken to court from Jan. 25, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012, were filed against Christians, who make up only about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 83 million people. Ishak Ibrahim, freedom of religion and belief officer for the EIPR, said people are targeting Christians using the nation's blasphemy statutes as a weapon. ...

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