A file photo for Saint George Church in Old Cairo (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified on Wednesday the country’s new law regulating the building of churches after it was approved by the House of Representatives in August, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
The Egyptian president also approved the building of a new Coptic Orthodox church in new Cairo, according to the official gazette.
The long-awaited law, the 13 articles of which have been published in Egypt's official gazette, regulates the construction and restoration of churches in the country.
Egyptian Christians, estimated at around 10 - 15 percent of the country's 90 million people, have long struggled to obtain official permits required to build churches, with the process at times taking years.
Due to the restrictions, some congregations have been forced to build unlicensed churches or carry out their religious practices in buildings that have not been designated for religious use.