Posted by: becketfund | March 16, 2009

Egypt: Baha’is IDs No Longer Require Indication of Religion

CAIRO – An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the government not to force the Baha’is to indicate a certain religion on their official documents, Gulf News reported on March 16. The Supreme Administrative Court upheld an earlier ruling, which gives this minority the right to get their identification cards without having to mention Islam, Christianity and Judaism – the only three faiths recognized in Egypt. The ruling puts an end to a five-year legal battle between the Egyptian government and the followers of Bahaism in this predominantly Muslim country.  “This ruling scraps the governmental policies, which used to force Bahais to change their faith in order to get official documents,” said Adul Ramadan, an official at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a non-governmental group, which filed the lawsuit. The number of Bahais in Egypt is estimated at 2,000. Due to their faith, they were unable to get official documents, including IDs and birth certificates, which are necessary in Egypt to have access to healthcare and education.

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