Al Hayat reported today that 34 Copts have been detained by Egyptian authorities in connection with the demonstrations that followed the conversion of a vice-bishop's wife to Islam. Among the seven charges against them: inciting unrest, exploiting religion to incite ethnic discord, resisting authorities, and using force and violence. Also, implications or accusations that the woman's conversion was less than voluntary appear to be unfounded. Al Hayat reports that church officials have spent the past two days trying to convince the woman to renounce her conversion-- but in vain.
The Arabist is published and edited by Issandr El Amrani, a writer and analyst based in Cairo, with contributions by friends.
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