Egypt rules Coptic inheritance governed by Christian law

A general view shows people gathering outside the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta City of Tanta, 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Cairo, after a bomb blast struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017 . (AFP)
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Updated 06 January 2020

Egypt rules Coptic inheritance governed by Christian law

  • Nasrallah went to court to ensure her father’s estate was “fairly shared” between her and her two brothers

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has ruled that Coptic citizens should be governed by Christian inheritance norms, including gender equality, a lawyer told AFP on Sunday.
“Until now, Islamic law (which provides that men should inherit twice as much as women) was applied to Coptic citizens, even though Orthodox rules guarantee equality between men and women,” said lawyer Hoda Nasrallah, who brought a test case.
Nasrallah said she was forced to go to court to ensure her father’s estate was “fairly shared” between her and her two brothers.
The court decision was based on article three of Egypt’s 2014 constitution, which said Christian inheritance rules govern Christian citizens.
Previous rulings by the Coptic Orthodox church guarantee gender equality in inheritance matters.
Coptic Christians, the largest non-Muslim religious minority in the Middle East, make up about 10-15 percent of Egypt’s predominantly Sunni Muslim population of 100 million.
Up until now, a law dating from the 1940s has continued to apply Islamic inheritance law to Coptic citizens.


Iran warns of lengthy ‘new way of life’ as virus deaths rise

An Iranian army soldier walks through a temporary hospital in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, March 26, 2020. (AP)
Updated 58 min 27 sec ago

Iran warns of lengthy ‘new way of life’ as virus deaths rise

  • Without an official lockdown in place, the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home “as much as possible”

TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani has warned that “the new way of life” in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640.
Iran is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China.
Iran announced its first infection cases on Feb. 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.
At his daily news briefing, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 123 more people in Iran had died from the virus in the past 24 hours.
He reported 2,901 new cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the overall number of officially confirmed cases to 38,309.
According to the official, 12,391 of those hospitalized have recovered and 3,467 are in “critical” condition.
“We must prepare to live with this virus until a treatment or vaccine is discovered, which has not yet happened to date,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a Cabinet meeting.
“The new way of life we have adopted” is to everyone’s benefit, he said, adding that “these changes will likely have to stay in place for some time.”
After weeks of refraining from imposing lockdown or quarantine measures, Tehran decided Wednesday to ban all intercity travel until at least April 8.
Without an official lockdown in place, the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home “as much as possible.” Schools and universities in some provinces were closed in late February and the measure was later extended to the whole country.
After Rouhani’s warning, the reopening of schools following this year’s new year holidays of March 19 to April 3 appears unlikely.

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Iran announced its first infection cases on Feb. 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January

On a positive note, Rouhani said he had been told by top health experts and doctors that “in some provinces we have passed the peak (of the epidemic) and are on a downward trajectory.”
Several Iranian government officials and notable figures have been infected by the new coronavirus, some of whom have died.
The most recent case of infection was Mohammed-Reza Khatami, brother of former president Mohammad Khatami and an ex-deputy speaker of parliament.
He is currently hospitalized.
Iraj Harirchi, a deputy health minister who tested positive for the virus in late February, has returned to public life and appeared on state television to emphasize safety precautions.