Report: Religious freedom in Egypt, declining
Freedom of religious belief in Egypt “declined” between July 2007 and June 2008, according to the US State Department’s annual assessment of religious freedom throughout the world, the International Religious Freedom Report.
The report is compiled on the basis of information obtained “from a variety of sources, including government and religious officials, NGOs, journalists, human rights monitors, religious groups and academics” according to its preface.
The report describes legislation and governmental practices which discriminate against Egypt’s religious minorities and adherents of Islamic teachings viewed as heretical by the state.
Acts of discrimination against Egypt’s largest religious minority, Christian Copts, take up the bulk of the report.
“The government again failed to redress laws and governmental practices discriminative against Christians, effectively allowing their discriminatory effects and their modelling effect on society to become further entrenched,” the report states.