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UNSPLASH
Church News

First Coptic Christian appointed to Egypt's highest court

by Alex Collett

The appointment of the first Coptic Christian to Egypt's highest court has taken place, with one spokesman from Open Doors explaining it as a 'daring move' to engage Christians in public life.

Judge Boulos Fahmy will be the 19th person to head up the Supreme Constitutional Court since it was established in 1969. 

Only 15 percent of Egypt's population is Christian, in a Muslim majority country.

Egypt is number 20 on Open Doors' 2022 World Watch List, the annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution

Hany Jamal, a Christian worker in Egypt and spokesman for Open Doors said it's a positive step for the country :

"It's unprecedented.to have a Christian appointed by the President in such a very high end elite position, because usually or always, if I can use that word, we expect only Muslims to be sworn into those strategic places.

"For the President to choose a Christian, to be the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court has taken us all by surprise actually because we expect people in that position to be Muslims and we know from the history that there will always be positions at that level that will never be filled by Christians.

"If this changes in the future, that will mean a significant jump forward, but at least with that decision taken, that gives some hope that we may be able to see other Christians appointed in other strategic locations."

When asked whether this appointment will make a difference for Christians on the ground, he said: "Postions like these or any future probability of appointing Christians, in high positions, this will not really affect the grass-root level of Christians, within their lives everyday.

"I think we Christians are confident somehow that the presidential institution, the top level leadership of the country, they have shown respect to the Christian community."

Jamal described that Egypt fell from number 16 to 20 on the Open Doors' 2022 World Watch List this year and explained that Christians living in the country still face problems :

"There is still pressure and daily discrimination in part of the culture and everyday life."

Jamal also encourages us to pray for Christians in Egypt :

"I ask them to pray for a clear presence of the Christians in all life circles and do not withdraw from the community, because of the pressure. 

"But be there, show your faith, to show their faith without fear. 

"Show their love, the love of Christ.

"In any position they find themselves in, even if they just live in a local community and they don't have any sort of authority. 

"But they can actually pray that they will be able to show the love of Christ wherever they are."

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