“Egypt Copts demonstrate against remarriage ruling
Protesters reject court ruling ordering Coptic church to allow Christians in Egypt to remarry
CAIRO – Several hundred Copts demonstrated in Cairo on Wednesday to protest a court ruling ordering their church to allow Christians to remarry, contrary to church doctrine.
They gathered in front of the capital’s St Mark’s Cathedral as the church’s leader, Pope Shenuda III, said the church would “not accept anything that goes against the Bible.”
“No to remarriage; we follow the teachings of the Bible,” read one placard.
Another said “we are all behind our holy patriarch in rejecting a judgement that runs counter to Christian precepts.”
Last month Egypt’s High Administrative Court ordered the church to allow its faithful to remarry, quashing an appeal by Shenuda.
The ruling related to the case of Hani Wasfi, who complained against the pope’s refusal to let him remarry after having been divorced.
Copts forbid divorce except in proven cases of adultery, or if a spouse converts to another religion or branch of Christianity. Civil marriage alone, without a religious ceremony, is not recognised in Egypt.
On Tuesday, Pope Shenuda urged the high court to review its decision.
“The decision must be reviewed, otherwise it would mean that Copts have been suffering and we are putting pressure on them through religion,” he said.
“The church respects the law but it does not accept judgements that go against the Gospels and against religious freedom, which is guaranteed by the constitution,” he said.
“Marriage for us is sacred and a religious act, not a simple administrative act,” he continued, adding that the church could “absolutely not apply” the court’s decision.
Copts make up less than 10 percent of the country’s 80-million largely Muslim population, and are the Middle East’s biggest Christian community.”
(Quelle: Middle East Online.)