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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Egypt govt legalises status of 87 unlicensed churches

This brings the number of churches and service buildings approved by the committee to 1,222 during the past year and a half

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Dec 2019
committee meeting
Meeting of the committee chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly (Photo: Egyptian Cabinet)

At a Tuesday meeting chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, the committee tasked with rectifying the status of unlicensed Christian places of worship approved the legalisation of the status of 87 churches and service buildings.

This brings the number of churches and service buildings approved by the committee to 1,222 during the past year and a half, according to a cabinet statement

During the meeting, the committee went over the reviewal of applications submitted by churches and service buildings during the past month and a half since the committee's last meeting on 22 October.

The meeting was attended by the ministers of justice, parliamentary affairs, local development, and housing.

Representatives of Christian denominations and other stakeholders also attended the meeting.

Egyptian cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said that the committee has also reviewed the progress of the previously approved churches and service buildings in fulfilling their civil protection requirements, in order to protect lives and preserve properties.

Saad said that the code for the requirements has been recently amended in order to facilitate the process for churches.

Reverend Mikhail Anton, representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church, said that Pope Tawadros always stresses the importance of all churches and buildings meeting civil protection requirements.

There are, however, some exceptional cases that face difficulties in fully implementing the requirements, thus there should be alternative measures, he said.

The cabinet said in its statement that the prime minister had called for the situation of these churches to be studied to find the best alternative solutions to achieve the required protection.

Madbouly also stressed during the meeting that any churches built on state-owned land should reconcile with the state.

Representatives of Christian denominations at the meeting assured their full commitment to the state the required dues.


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