Jewish Journal

Suing to make conversion official in Egypt

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 13, 2007 | 7:09 am

If there is a news story involving Christians anywhere in the world, there is a good chance Ted Olsen will find it on the Web. From Ted’s blog for Christianity Today, “Trying to Convert in Egypt”:

Mohamed Hegazy, a journalist and political activist, is married, and his wife is four months pregnant. They’re Christians and want their child to be identified as Christian when born. But the Egyptian interior ministry refuses to let Hegazy change his official religious identification from Islam to Christianity. Hegazy, 24, converted to Christianity several years ago (Reuters says four years; Compass Direct says eight).

Now Hegazy has filed suit to have the change made. Yesterday, after a series of death threats — including some, reportedly, from the security police, Hegazy’s lawyer resigned.

“If you add to the state of alert in Egyptian society, and to protect the feelings of our Muslim brothers, and to protect our national unity … we decided to abandon this case,” said the lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhla. “We ask all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, to close this file and refrain from talking about this sensitive area. Not speaking about this is much better than blowing up such subjects, which could set society on fire.”

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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