Egypt’s Evangelical Church demands civil marriages

Allowing civil marriages could solve current disputes among Copts on whether to allow divorce and remarriage, the head of Egypt's Evangelical Copts said Wednesday.

"All countries allow civil marriage. The Evangelical Church calls for freedom in general," Priest Safwat al-Bayady told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Egypt's Orthodox Church only permits divorce in cases of adultery or change of religion, though it allows remarriage if a spouse dies. The church urges other denominations to do so as well.

The government does not recognize civil marriages without the church's consent.

Copts who protested this week for the right to divorce plan to continue protesting Thursday at the Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasseya.

The three main Christian denominations are currently discussing the ruling military council's personal status draft law for non-Muslims. Bayady said his church called for adding an article about evangelicals to the law.

But not all church officials agree on the subject.

The church is "committed to Bible teachings and Coptic laws," said Priest Roweis Morqos, the deputy of Alexandria's Orthodox Church and head of the clerical council.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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