From my new article on Christianity Today:
In another blow to Egypt’s democratic transition, representatives of the Muslim nation’s three main Christian bodies jointly decided to end their participation in writing a new constitution.
“The constitution … in its current form does not meet the desired national consensus and does not reflect the pluralistic identity of Egypt,” said Bishop Pachomious, acting patriarch for the Coptic Orthodox Church. The announcement was made one day before Pope Tawadros II assumed the papal throne of St. Mark, the gospel writer.
A primary complaint is over the role of shari’ah. Article Two of Egypt’s 1971 constitution, as well as the current draft of the new constitution, enshrines the “principles” of shari’ah to be the primary source of legislation. Pope Tawadros does not dispute the article as currently defined—including its designation of Islam as the religion of the state. But all churches reject its expansion.
“They left Article Two as is, but then added another article defining the principles of shari’ah.”
Please click here to continue reading at Christianity Today.
- Previous Articles on Egypt’s Constituent Assembly Members – March 27, 2012
- Article Two Roundtables: Clerics, Media, and Civil Society – January 8, 2012
- ‘Under God’ and the Egyptian Constitution – July 18, 2011