Evangelist Church to discuss mental illness, abandonment as grounds for divorce
The Deir Al Suryan’s Holy Virgin Church at Wadi al Natroun

CAIRO: Mental illness, abandonment and impotence will soon be considered valid grounds for divorce in the Evangelist Church in Egypt; the church will hold an expanded meeting Wednesday to discuss a proposal to loosen rules to dissolve marriages, Youm7 reported.

Although Muslims are entitled to the right to divorce under Islamic law, Egyptian Christians are bound by marriage laws dictated by the Church. Egyptian churches are facing wide-spread demands to allow divorce, but the controversial Christian Personal Status Law does not allow divorce except in cases of infidelity and converting in a country where civil marriage is not recognized.

The Ministry of Transitional Justice presented a draft unified law for Christians in 2014 and requested their feedback, as article 3 of the constitution stipulates that Christians and Jews may regulate their own personal affairs.

The ministry’s draft provided for 14 reasons for the “dissolution of marriage,” as well as an article that allowed civil marriage for Christians, according to Youm7.

Egyptian Christian sects have failed to agree on a unified Personal Status Law; thus each sect has embarked on its own law to refer to the parliament later.

The Orthodox Church, to which the Majority of Egyptian Christians belong, is the most strict church when it comes to divorce.

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