Egypt govt has legalised 1,500 unlicensed churches since 2017: Cabinet

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Feb 2020

Almost 1,500 churches and service buildings have been made legal over the past three years

A file photo of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral

A cabinet committee tasked with legalising the status of unlicensed Christian places of worship on Tuesday approved the legalisation of 82 churches and service buildings that had been operating without a permit, the cabinet said in a statement.

This brings to 1,494 the total number of unlicensed Christian places of worship and service buildings that have been granted legal status so far, the cabinet said.

Christians make up around 10 percent of the 100 million population of Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country.

In 2016, Egypt’s parliament approved a long-awaited law regulating the building and renovation of churches.

The committee to legalise the status of unlicensed churches was established in 2017 by the prime minister.

The 10-member committee comprises one Christian representative, six government officials from several ministries, representatives from the national security apparatus, the intelligence apparatus, and the administrative control body.

During its meeting on Tuesday, the cabinet also reviewed the situation of security requirements for legalised churches.

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