Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two young boys forced to take a conversion test in Egypt

Or they will not be able to advance in their education.

Two young boys ordered to take a school test that would result in their conversion to Islam wrote, "I am Christian," on the exam papers, knowing in advance that could very well spell the end of their educations. Now a U.S.-based organization is lobbying for international pressure on Egypt to quit forcing Christians into such no-win situations.

"What brought the case to the public attention is the categorical refusal of the two kids to pass the Islamic exams and convert to Islam, stating, 'they will not deny their Christianity and convert to Islam no matter what it would cost them,'" Sam Grace, a spokesman for Coptic News said.

The organization aims to "reveal the untold stories � which are not told by the conventional Arabic press."

He told WND the boys, Mario Medhat Ramses, 11, and Andrew Medhat Ramses, 13, now are facing a future without educational opportunities even though they had been classified as "brilliant" students at the French Lycee school of Alexandria.

Grace said Egypt's ministry of education ordered the boys to take the test that would result in their conversion to Islam because their father, who left the family about five years ago, had decided to convert from Christianity to Islam.

The parents, Medhat Ramses and Camellia Medhat were a Christian couple when the boys were born, but the father then divorced the mother, leaving his sons behind, and converted to Islam to marry a Muslim.

But Islamic religious law, which has been adopted by the civil government in Egypt, requires that children follow the faith of any parent who converts to Islam, "since Islam is the superior religion that abrogated all other religions," Grace said.

I wasn't aware that Egypt was under Sharia law.