The Coptic Orthodx Church of Alexandria (Photo: Reuters)
The Egyptian cabinet's media centre has published an info-graph on Sunday saying that from 2017 to 2019, 1,000 churches and church-affiliated service premises have been given legal status by the committee concerned with legalising unlicensed churches.
The committee legalised 1,109 churches and premises that had been operating without a permit over the past two years.
According to the info-graph, 51 churches were legalised in Cairo, 87 in Sohag, 12 in Ismailia, 25 in Luxor, 15 in Qena, 17 in the Red Sea governorate, 28 in Daqahlia, 66 in Sharqia, 110 in Qalyubia, 14 in Suez, 35 in Beni Suef, eight in Kafr El-Sheikh, 121 in Giza, 35 in Gharbia, eight in Menoufiya, 74 in Beheira, 87 in Alexandria, 13 in Matrouh, three in Faiyum, 189 in Minya, 71 in Assiut, and two in the New Valley.
The committee, which was formed in accordance with the church restoration and construction law of 2016, is headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and started work in 2017. The committee includes the ministers of justice, antiquities, and parliamentary affairs.
Before the 2016 law was passed, there was ambiguity surrounding the rules regarding the construction of churches.
"The committee studies and checks in details the requests from the legal representative of religious sect owning the church or premise," the cabinet said.
The info-graph also revealed that a number of new churches have been built in several, including the cathedral inaugurated last January in the New Administrative Capital.