Egypt has a homogenous population consisting of 97.7% of ethnical Egyptians. Yet, the Egyptian population has religious minorities, with Christians being the largest religious minority. Ninety percent of the population predominantly adheres to Sunni Islam, and the 10% Christians comprise majority Coptic Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglicans (CIA Factbook 2021).
Egypt has experienced a period of major political turmoil following the 2011 Arab Spring that swept across Arab countries. This has led to multiple changes in the social and political landscapes. Recent constitutional amendments introduced in 2019 allowed the government to impose authoritarian rule and wield military power. With this, the government has muzzled political activity and extended state control over, civil society organizations, traditional and social media outlets. In addition, the government fails to fulfil promises to pass a legislation to protect religious minorities. Christians face systematic discrimination on societal and institutional levels, and obstacles have been put in place to prevent the building of new churches (Human Rights Watch 2019). Such disruptions at the government level deter efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and intercultural cooperation amongst the different ethnic groups in Egypt.
Egypt has attained an overall ICDI score of 0.41. A score of 0.87 in the component of fractionalisation indicates that existing levels of cultural participation typically meet the conditions needed for a favourable degree of inclusion. In contrast, a score of 0.03 in the component of social contact signal low levels of cultural participation, and low numbers of indigenous and immigrant living languages. A score of 0.18 reflects low access to modern communication.
Current Situation and Outlook
Egypt has below average scores across three dimensions which make up the overall ICDI score. Egypt can strengthen its ICDI score by strengthening its structural dimension. This can be done by increasing the opportunities for social contact through an encouragement of cultural participation and preserving indigenous living and immigrant living languages. An increase in multicultural and diversity acts or policies can help support efforts towards increasing intercultural participation and facilitate cohesion and stability.