Nas drew my attention to the following news item that was published in the Jordan Times last week:

AMMAN (Petra) — The government has given its consent to a request by the Coptic Orthodox bishop in Amman for the establishment of a church court for the Coptic community in Jordan. The court, chaired by Bishop Anba Abraham, is to be housed at the Coptic Patriarchate in the Abdali neighborhood.

The story grabbed me mostly because I was not aware that the Coptic community in Jordan was so sizeable that it would need its own court. Also, I wonder what would this court be in charge of? I assume it would handle marriage and divorce cases, but what about inheritance? Will Copts be able to handle issues like inheritance through this court instead of following the Sharia-based inheritance law that is currently applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike?

A prominent Jordanian lawyer told me years ago that Christians in Jordan could avoid having their inheritance divided according to Sharia, which gives female siblings half the share that their male siblings receive, by referring their case to a Christian court. I wonder if this is feasible? Can anyone shed some light on this matter?

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