baha’is of egypt denied their identity

Want a snapshot of the situation of the Bahá’í community over in the Middle East? Baha’i Blog has been faithfully watching not only the situation of the Baha’is of Iran [1] [2], but also that of the Baha’is of Egypt [1] [2]. The Baha’i Faith not being recognized as a religion in Egypt, Egyptian believers are asked to choose either “Muslim” or “Christian” for printing on official government documents. Of course, most (if not all) refuse, which means Baha’is living in Egypt can’t be issued identification such as birth certificates – which means they can’t legally marry, obtain passports, collect pensions, benefit from public health care, and so on. A group of Baha’is initiated a lawsuit to attempt to correct this injustice, in the hopes of gaining some official recognition of the Faith.

At last glance, the situation was this: Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court suspended a ruling by a lower court that would have allowed Baha’is to identify themselves as such on their official documents. This isn’t entirely surprising, seeing as rampant rumours, misinformation and outright lies have led many in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Middle East, including Iran) to believe that the Bahá’í Faith is either: (a) a Zionist political group or (b) spies for colonial and/or imperialist powers or (c) a danger to Islam or (d) all of the above. Sad.

Once you’re done scanning through Baha’i Blog, visit Marco Oliveira’s response to an Egyptian blogger who posted a fair bit about the Egyptian Supreme Court ruling. A subsequent set of emails from an anonymous Egyptian Baha’i hints at the seriousness of the clamour currently surrounding the Baha’is in Egypt.

Read more about the persecution of Baha’is in Egypt, or about the persecution of the Baha’is of Iran.

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