In theory, Egypt allows freedom of religion to Christians but there are limits as to what the nation’s Coptic religion is allowed to do. Any Muslim is allowed to try converting a Christian to his religion, but freedom to convert ordinarily halts at the door of the church. Egypt’s Coptic Church has for the first time issued a certificate of conversion to a person who was born into the Muslim religion and decided to become a Christian. Maher al-Gohari is seeking to change his religion on official documents to indicate he is now a Christian. This is the first time the Coptic Church has issued such a certificate. It is only the second time a Muslim has officially requested having his statement of religion changed on identify cards.
Last year a court rejected such a request by a Christian convert from Islam. Tension between Coptic Christians and Muslim continues in Egypt. Ironically, Muslims argue that Jews took the land of Israel from Muslims, but Coptic Christians predate Muslims in Egypt by hundreds of years.