Coptic leader unmoved by court ruling on divorce
Cairo, Mar. 4, 2008 (CWNews.com) - The head of Egypt's CopticOrthodox Church has announced that his Church will not recognize theauthority of an Egyptian court ruling that Copts can convert toIslam, obtain a divorce, and then return to the Coptic faith. "Weonly abide by the Bible," Pope Shenouda III told the Egyptian dailyAl Ahram. He added that the court ruling had only "civil, notreligious" authority.
The Coptic Orthodox Church does not recognize divorce, although itdoes provide for the annulment of marriages in case of adultery.Copts who obtain a civil divorce are not allowed to remarry in the church.
Ordinarily Egyptian law does not allow recognition to Muslims whoconvert to the Christian faith. But the country's top court ruledthat Christians who become Muslims in order to exploit Islamic lawsallowing easy divorce may then return to their original faith. PopeShenouda made it clear that Coptic leaders would not look with favoron those who used the legal loophole.
Copts constitute about 10% of Egypt's population.