The following is a translation of an article that recently appeared in Al Youm:

The Civil Status Department refuses to recognize Baha’i marriages
by Nahed Nasser

On the seventh day I discovered that the Civil Status Department in Cairo refused to accept the application forms belonging to a number of female and male spouses requesting the issuance of a national number due to the fact that Baha’i marriages are not recognized by the state. One Baha’i who approached the said department stated that the employee in charge asked him to either document the marriage at the Ministry of Justice or raise a judicial case to obtain a proof of the marriage, or otherwise the category for social status in the national card will carry the word “bachelor.”

Dr. Raouf Hindi, the spokesperson of the Baha’i community, expressed his surprise regarding the obstacles placed by the Civil Status Department before the Baha’is despite the fact that a decision was issued by the Minister of Interior last March concerning the issuance of status documents for Baha’is. “For a period of four months, officials at the Civil Status Department did not consider the issue of social status, and we must continue to spend our time in the corridors of court houses,”

He also pointed out that married people who were refused by the Civil Status Department to obtain a national number are confirmed in the birth certificates of their children as parents. Some of them even carry a family card and passports confirming that they are husbands and wives.

Dr. Raouf Hindi called upon the issuance of a speedy decision concerning this point in order to prevent an increase in the suffering of Baha’is who have been facing a state of civil death since the existence of national numbers. “We expect the decision issued by the Minister of Interior to be applied on all Baha’is without obstacles,” he added.