No political campaigning during Eid prayers: Ministry

Ahram Online , Saturday 26 Jul 2014

Religious endowments ministry warns Egyptian preachers against electoral campaigning

Egypt's Ministry of Religious Endowments has warned against political campaigning for the upcoming parliamentary elections during prayers celebrating next week’s Eid Al-Fitr festival.

The holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, starts on Monday and features communal prayers on the first day of the celebration.

The ministry said on Thursday that it had concluded the arrangements for public spaces during Eid prayers, and had published a 320-page document containing the names of the mosques and preachers sanctioned to conduct the sermons that accompany the prayers.

Egypt's former interim president Adly Mansour issued a decree in June banning unauthorised preachers from giving sermons. The decree authorises preachers certified by the ministry and Al-Azhar to preach sermons. Other preachers must obtain additional authorisation.

The ministry said Eid sermons must be conducted under the auspices of the ministry and abide by a religious preaching law. The sermons' content must follow the guidelines of the sermon published on the ministry's website.

Mosques in Egypt have often been used as centres of political rallying and campaigning. After the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood from power, authorities have cracked down on unregulated activities in places of worship.

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