State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2010 - Egypt
|Publisher||Minority Rights Group International|
|Publication Date||1 July 2010|
|Cite as||Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2010 - Egypt, 1 July 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c33311867.html [accessed 7 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The year 2009 saw Egypt joining with the USA to sponsor a resolution before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) that sought common ground between proponents of a prohibition on 'defamation of religion' and free speech advocates. However, the country did not fare better in ensuring the protection of religious minorities within its territory.
Alongside Baha'is, whose discrimination has been discussed above, Copts also continue to suffer religious persecution. In June 2009, the Catholic Online, the official online news source of the Catholic Church, reported that hundreds of young Coptic girls, including many under-age, have been kidnapped, raped, forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Egypt's 12 million Copts comprise about 15 per cent of the population. According to the report, Christians who want to convert to Islam are welcomed with open arms, while Muslims who would like to convert to Christianity are usually imprisoned and tortured. Out of 444 representatives, Egypt's parliament has just two Coptic elected representatives, one of whom was disqualified for holding dual citizenship.