© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/156851910X537829 Islamic Law and Society 18 (2011) 356-386 www.brill.nl/ils Islamic Law and Society Divorce and Remarriage of Orthodox Copts in Egypt: e 2008 State Council Ruling and the Amendment of the 1938 Personal Status Regulations Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron * Abstract In June 2008, the 1938 Personal Status Regulations for the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt were amended to limit the grounds for divorce to adultery and change of religion. is revision followed a ruling of the State Council requiring Pope Shenouda III, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to grant a divorced Orthodox Copt a license to remarry. e amendments ended a long-standing conﬂict between the Egyptian national courts and the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding the eﬀects of judicial divorce: prior to the revision, thousands of couples divorced before the courts were considered by the Church to be still married. However, by restricting the pos- sibilities for Orthodox Copts to obtain a divorce, the 2008 amendments may lead to an increase in conversions to other religious faiths to escape application of the revised 1938 regulations. In this essay, I analyze the 2008 amendments, the State Council ruling, landmark decisions of the
Islamic Law and Society – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Keywords: PERSONALITY OF LAWS; NON-MUSLIMS; EGYPT; UNIFIED PERSONAL STATUS LAW FOR NON-MUSLIMS; REMARRIAGE; CONVERSION; ORTHODOX COPTS; CONFLICT RULES; DIVORCE; 1938 COPTIC ORTHODOX PERSONAL STATUS REGULATIONS
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