Alisabat Musa Girgis and her sons Aziz, top, 13, and Saleem, bottom, 11, in Samalut, Minya governate, Egypt, Thursday, June 23, 2011. Alisabat, 31, is in an abusive marriage, but she is unable to obtain a divorce. Several years ago during a day-long fight, she stabbed him and was later convicted and spent one year in prison. As members of a religious minority, Coptic women in Egypt face discrimination and are subject to laws based on Islamic Sharia. Because of the difficulty of getting a divorce in the Coptic Church, some Christian men and women convert to Islam in order to get one, a decision that has far-reaching social and legal consequences for the family and sometimes the entire community. Coptic women's conversion to Islam has been documented to spark sectarian violence in numerous instances.
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