Egypt licenses more churches, total number reaches 1,638: Cabinet

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 May 2020

File photo of an Egyptian Orthodox Church. (Reuters)

A cabinet committee tasked with legalising the status of unlicensed Christian places of worship has licensed 70 churches and service buildings that had been operating without a permit, the cabinet said in a statement.

This brings the total number of unlicensed Christian places of worship and service buildings that have been granted legal status to 1,638 so far, the cabinet said in a statement following a committee meeting on Tuesday.

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 safety requirements for legalised churches.

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