Though Egypt's Constitution guarantees freedom of belief, Egyptian Muslims are not at liberty to leave Islam because Islamic Law which forbids apostasy is used to interpret Egyptian law. The historically Christian Copts have generally been treated leniently if, after converting to Islam, they later seek to revert to their 'birth religion'. However the mood is changing. On 1 September Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court will re-hear the recently refused request of 45 Copts to have their identity papers changed from Muslim to Christian. The case has sparked heated debate.
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