AFRICA/EGYPT - Churches present their proposal concerning the bill on the family to the Egyptian government

Friday, 16 October 2020 middle east   local churches   family   marriage   laws   ecumenicalism  

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The representatives in charge of the Churches and ecclesial communities present in Egypt have presented to the Egyptian political authorities a unitary proposal concerning the bill on personal status and family law, which has been under consideration by legislators for some time. The joint proposal - reported Youssef Talaat, legal adviser of the Egyptian evangelical community - collects both general articles on the rules shared by all the Churches and communities as well as those which are specific to matters - such as marital separation and divorce - regulated differently by each Christian denomination. The delivery to the government authorities of the text with the proposal drawn up by the representatives of the various Churches, already prepared in February, was only possible, due to the pandemic, on Thursday 15 October at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers. After consideration by ad hoc government agencies, the bill will be submitted to Parliament for consideration and approval.
The involvement of Christian Churches present in Egypt in the long process for the drafting of a new law on personal status had already begun in 2014 (see Fides 22/11/2014), by the then Transitional Ministry of Justice. Already then the government body had submitted a draft of the law to the leaders of the various Churches, with the request to study the text and to send their own considerations on the matter. At that time, Anba Paula, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Tanta and President of the Committee of Ecclesiastics responsible for expressing the evaluation of his own Church, announced that the Coptic Orthodox Church and all the Catholic Churches present in Egypt would have no support to the possible introduction of civil marriages in Egypt. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2020)