DESCRIPTION Egypt was predominantly Christian during the first centuries after Christ. By the mid-seventh century, Islam had conquered the country, but thankfully Egypt's Coptic Christian church never disappeared.
Category: Restricted Nation Religion: Muslim 86.52%, Christian 12.98% Ideology: Islam Head of State: Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
The country's constitution gives preference to Muslims. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, denied political representation and discriminated against in employment. On June 13, 2009, a Cairo judge denied a Christian convert's request to change his religious status on his identification card from Muslim to Christian. The man, Maher El-Gohary, has been attacked on the streets and has received death threats for legally pursuing his case. In addition, several riots have occurred between Coptic Christians and Muslims. Unprovoked, three Muslim men stabbed a Coptic Christian man as he left a wedding service, sending him to the hospital with severe internal injuries. On May 9, 2009, a car bomb exploded outside of St. Mary Church, a holy site for Copts.