Freedom of belief and religion:
Churches and Christians’ private property have been exposed to various violations that reached their peak since the June 30 uprising as a violent response against Christians for joining the protests. The Egyptian authorities have already taken swift actions to protect churches and Christian citizens.
The new Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, thought, and belief as articles 53, 64 and 235 states. Also, on October 15, 2011 the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces issued a decree 126-2011 to amend provisions of the penal code to prohibit discrimination against other persons. The decree substitutes the title of article 11 of the second chapter of the penal code with “Misdemeanors related to religion and anti-discrimination so the article 160 of the Egyptian Penal Code states that: A penalty of detention and fine shall be inflicted on the following:
- Whoever perturbs the rituals of a creed or a related religious ceremony, or obstructs it with violence or threat.
- Whoever ravages, breaks, destroys, or violates the sanctity of a place provided for holding religious ceremonies, symbols, or other objects of profound reverence and sanctity in relation to the members of a creed or group of people.
Due to the above, the coalition calls for the following:
1- The state shall issue a law to organize building and renovating churches in accordance with 2014 Constitution.
2- The state shall issue a law to create an independent commission for equal opportunities and eliminating all forms of discrimination against citizens.
3- Join the efforts of all sectors for spreading the language of tolerance, non-discrimination and the acceptance of others.
4- The state shall review the school curriculum to entrench the principle of citizenship.
5- Support the role of media and cultural institutions in promoting and protecting religious diversity and denounce hate crimes and discrimination against citizens.