Islam is constitutionally established as the official religion of Egypt
and around 90% of the population is Sunni Muslim with a small minority of Bohra
Muslims and other non-Sunni sects represented.
Egypt is one of Islam's most influential intellectual centers. Al Azhar
University, the oldest university in the world, graduates Islamic scholars from
every Muslim country on earth. The Rector of Al Azhar occupies one of the most
important hierarchical positions in the Muslim world and exercises great
influence over religious issues of the day.
Coptic Christians form the country's largest and most significant
religious minority with government estimates claiming only 3 million Copts while
Coptic Church estimates place the number at around 7 million. This disparity
indicates an underlying tension between the dominant Muslim community and the
Coptic minority, which has begun to flare up periodically in acts of vandalism
with the rise of Muslim fundamentalism.
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