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Coptic Solidarity Launches Campaign to Reunite Baby Shenouda with Adoptive Parents

Coptic Solidarity
Feb. 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2023 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity today launched a public awareness and online grassroots campaign for a 5-year-old Egyptian Coptic boy who was taken away from his adoptive parents by Egyptian authorities at age four. Because Egyptian law does not allow for adoption, the 4-year-old child was seized from his loving parents' arms—to cries of "mamma, papa!"—and sent to an orphanage.

"Baby Shenouda" was abandoned as a newborn inside a Coptic Church. The priest who found him, entrusted the baby to a childless couple who had prayed for a baby for many years. Amal Ibrahim and Farouk Fawsi Boulous raised Shenouda as their own child for four years. Following a police report claiming that Amal and Farouk had kidnapped Shenouda, Egyptian authorities forcibly removed him from the only parents and home he'd ever known in January 2022, changing his name to no longer be Christian, and changing his religion to Islam.

This is based on an Islamic teaching (even though not part of Egypt's law), whereby every human being is born as a sort of prototypical Muslim, who only “lose” their Islam when taught false things or religions. Egyptian family status law (which is based on Islamic Sharia) forbids adoption, but some legal experts say such rules should not apply to non-Muslims.

Shenouda's forced "conversion" will impact the entirety of his life in education, employment, and all personal matters. Shenouda now lives in an orphanage in Cairo and has extremely limited interaction with his adoptive parents. After strong public pressures by the Copts and enlightened Muslims, the adoptive parents were allowed to see the child for a few minutes on December 31, and found him deeply distressed and confused. A court viewing their case to reverse prior decisions and recover the child has been deferred a number of times; now to March 18.

The head of the Egyptian National Council on Human Rights, Moushira Khattab, has recently been reported to support the reunification of Shenouda with his adoptive parents. However, the Egyptian government is not taking any active measures to resolve this case.

Coptic Solidarity asks all interested individuals who are residents of the US, to send messages to their US Senators and US Representative, asking them to urge the Egyptian government to reunite Baby Shenouda with his adoptive parents immediately and return of his original name and faith. Coptic Solidarity has provided a sample letter that each individual can edit if they wish prior to sending. Individuals may also send a direct Tweet to their legislators from the campaign page.

Non-US resident wishing to take action can Tweet their support to #ReuniteBabyShenouda to President el-Sisi @AlSisiOfficial at and to the UN office in Egypt at @UNEgypt.

Egypt is an important ally and one of the largest recipients of US foreign aid. It is imperative that the US convey the national value of equality and work to alleviate the systematic discrimination against religious minorities in Egypt.

Coptic Solidarity is an organization seeking to help minorities, particularly the Copts of Egypt. We support those in Egypt working for democracy, freedom, and the protection of the fundamental rights of all Egyptian citizens, and advocate in cooperation with the affiliated organizations in Canada and in Europe (Solidarité Copte). For more information, contact Lindsay Rodriguez at 801-512-1713 or coptadvocacy@copticsolidarity.org.

SOURCE Coptic Solidarity

CONTACT: Lindsay Rodriguez, 801-512-1713, coptadvocacy@copticsolidarity.org