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CAIRO -- During the Egyptian elections in December Islamist politicians in Egypt stepped up pressure on the country's significant Coptic Christian minority. Some demanded that Christians again pay the ancient special jizya tax levied on non-Muslim citizens of Islamic countries. That tax was abolished in the mid 19th century.

Bishop Youhanna Golta of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate in Cairo told the Egyptian TV program Masr al-Jadida that Christians would ask moderate Muslims to help stop the reintroduction of the discriminatory tax and would refuse to pay it. If such a law were passed, "We'll refuse to the point of martyrdom. We'll pay with our blood to keep from being transported back to the time when we were enslaved."

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Title Annotation:signs of the times; jizya tax on Egyptian Christians
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Feb 1, 2012
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