Egyptian Court Sentences Christian Family to 15 Years for Converting From Islam
The 15-year prison sentence given to a woman and her seven children by an Egyptian court for converting to Christianity is a sign of things to come, according to alarmed human rights advocates who say Egypt's Islamist government spells trouble for Christians, Fox News reports. A criminal court in the city of Beni Suef gave the shocking sentence last week to Nadia Mohamed Ali, who was raised a Christian but converted to Islam when she married her husband 23 years ago. After he died, she planned to convert her family back to Christianity to obtain an inheritance, and sought the help of the registration office to process new identity cards between 2004 and 2006. But when the conversion came to light under Egypt's new regime, Nadia, her children and even the clerks who processed the identity cards were all sentenced to prison. Samuel Tadros of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom said conversions like Nadia's have been common in the past, but said Egypt's new sharia-based constitution "is a real disaster in terms of religious freedom." He added: "The cases will increase in the future. It will be much harder for people to return to Christianity."