Two new proposals for Personal Status Law

A new Personal Status Law for Non-Muslims has been drafted by the Secular Coptic Front, bringing the total number of proposed laws to three. The Egyptian Women’s Issues Center also submitted yesterday a draft law to the Ministry of Justice.

Kamal Zakher, spokesperson for the Front, said the proposal is an alternative to the one presented by the Coptic Orthodox Church, and which is currently being examined by a committee from the Ministry of Justice and representatives from the different Christian denominations.

Zakher also announced that the Coptic Front will organize a one-day workshop in the next few days to discuss different aspects of the Coptic community’s second marriage dilemma. Proposed amendments to the church bill will be examined during the workshop.

Zakher added that his group’s version of the law obliges the church to play a central role during engagement periods prior to marriage, which will involve holding training courses for future married couples.

Zakher also added that the bill calls for upholding the 1938 code which, according to him, best conforms to the teachings of the Bible. Criticizing the Coptic Church’s proposed law, Zakher said it will force Christians to either commit adultery or convert to Islam.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Women’s Issues Center submitted yesterday its own proposal for the law that would allow second marriages in cases where either of the spouses is absent or imprisoned, has committed adultery, or suffers from a chronic disease.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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