In Egypt, the country's new constitution is being drafted by a 100-person Constituent Assembly representing an array of interests. (See prior posting.) Yesterday, citing the Middle East News Agency, Aswat Masriya reported that the Constituent Assembly's Rights and Freedoms Committee has agreed on wording that narrows the protection of religious freedom. Art. 46 of the current constitution provides: "The State shall guarantee the freedom of belief and the freedom of practice of religious rites." Reportedly the new agreed-upon language is:
Religious freedom is complete and the state guarantees freedom of worship for believers in heavenly religions.The limitation of protections to "heavenly" religions is seen as excluding Shiites and Baha’is. Only two members of the committee objected to the new language.