HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 cc549-50W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise the issue of religious freedom with the Egyptian Government and urge it to permit Muslim converts to Christianity to change their(a) religion and (b) names in their identity papers. [135499]

Mr. Rammell

The British Government is committed to promoting tolerance and mutual respect between religions. Although the majority of people in Egypt are Muslim, there is a large Christian minority who are free to practice their own religion. The Egyptian State upholds Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Egyptian citizens are therefore free to convert to Christianity. The lack of an administrative provision for converts to Christianity to change their religious affiliation on their identity cards is a problem. We understand that a suit has been brought in the Egyptian courts to remove this affiliation altogether.

Forward to