A new constitution is passing through the Egyptian parliament that should bring more protection for Christians, Barnabas Fund has claimed.
Despite growing unrest following bombings in Cairo, the new draft constitution states that the country will have a civilian government, and bans parties that are based on religion.
According to a prayer update from Christian charity Barnabas Fund, the new draft constitution in Egypt grants remarkable rights to the country’s Christians and marks a move away from the previous Islamist-sponsored code.
Barnabas’ newsletter said: ‘The previous constitution, which was pushed through by Islamists in 2012 during the tenure of former president Mohammed Morsi, threatened basic rights and freedoms and laid the foundations for Egypt to become an Islamic state.
‘This time around, a 50-member committee had the impossible task of reconciling the demands of secularists, who originally began the revolution in Egypt in 2011, and Islamists. The resulting draft, which was finished on 1 December, shows that the secularists have held sway’.
The new code states that the country will have a ‘civilian’ government, a term interpreted to mean both non-religious and non-military, and bans political parties based on religion.
It also states that freedom of belief shall be absolute, compared to the term ‘preserved’, which had been in the previous code of principles as introduced by Morsi. It is not yet clear whether those granted the freedoms will be allowed to share their faith with others or change their religion without negative consequences. And freedom of belief and worship is granted only to Muslims, Christians and Jews, not to the followers of all religions.
Pro-Muslim Brotherhood activists have stepped up a campaign of protests and terror in Egypt, calling for a reinstatement of Morsi.