Update: Magdi Allam

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Magdi Cristiano Allam, the Egyptian naturalized Italian journalist and convert from Islam to Catholicism profiled in an earlier post, made a new announcement on Monday regarding his religious identity.

In it, Allam announces his formal departure from the Catholic church, saying that “I consider my conversion to Catholicism over,” though he continues to consider himself a Christian “and to proudly identify myself with Christianity as the civilization which more than any other moves man closer to God.”

Behind the timing of this move lay the recent abdication of Benedict XVI, who personally baptized Allam on Easter Sunday in 2008, and the subsequent election of Pope Francis, who has called for greater dialogue with the Islamic world. Continue reading

Conversion and controversy in the modern world

It is difficult not to recognize similarities with the distant (early modern) past in the ceremony held on March 22, 2008, when the Egyptian born and naturalized Italian journalist Magdi Allam, a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs who has worked at various times for all of the most important newspapers in Italy—first at La Repubblica, then at il Corriere della Sera, and later at il Giornale—was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI during the Easter mass in St. Peter’s. Continue reading