Converts 'adding to sectarian tensions'


Tihar Jail
Jun 16, 2009
Converts 'adding to sectarian tensions'
By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent
Published: July 31, 2009, 22:58

Cairo The growing trend among converts to publicise embracing Islam or converting to Christianity is adding to sectarian tensions in this predominantly Muslim country, warn Muslim and Christian experts.

Faith is a sacred bond between man and God and should not be a way of making worldly gains and fishing for fame, Ahmad Haroun, a Muslim liberal writer, told Gulf News. Still, man has the right to freedom of beliefs and this is enshrined in Islam. Haroun blamed media for sensationalising conversions in Egypt. This media unintentionally helps fuel Muslim-Christian strains in the country.

Christians account for about 10 million of Egypt's 80 million population. Tensions between Muslims and Christians occasionally flare up in disputes over places of worship, pieces of land and conversions. Four people were killed and more than 30 others were injured in Muslim-Christian clashes in some parts of Egypt in the first three months of 2009, according to a recent report released by the Egyptian Initiative Organisation for Personal Freedom, a Cairo-based non-governmental organisation.

Meanwhile, converts to Christianity accuse the Egyptian government of refusing to recognise their conversion in official documents.

A large number of those converting to Christianity do not do this in good faith, said Christian MP Nabeel Luqa. They have a certain agenda to promote like seeking a chance to migrate to the US and Canada or improving their financial status, he said.

Gulfnews: Converts 'adding to sectarian tensions'

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