Egypt to legalize 102 churches

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Egypt to legalize 102 churches

la-croix.com

Christians are a religious minority in mostly Muslim Egypt and the issue of building churches has largely always been controversial.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has approved the legalization of 102 unlicensed churches and 64 church-associated buildings, following a meeting with a committee charged with regulating churches.

“It is extremely difficult in Egypt to gain church building licenses, with the process often taking years, which means that many Egyptian Christians congregate in unlicensed churches,” reports Egyptian Streets.

However, regulations appear to be loosening, the report said adding that 2016 saw the passing of a law that eased regulations for constructing Christian houses of worship, building on the 2014 constitution that guarantees the right to freedom of religious for Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

Christians are a religious minority in mostly Muslim Egypt and the issue of building churches has largely always been controversial. Many times, Muslim mobs have attacked Christian citizens and damaged or destroyed churches.

In a related issue, the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak has greeted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's following his reelection announced April 2. The only other opponent who ran for president was little-known Mousa Mostafa Mousa who entered the race hours before the deadline and whose party had previously endorsed el-Sisi.

According to the Vatican News, Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Coptic Catholic Church, said the patriarch highlighted to the president the importance of taking care of the educational, health and welfare sectors over the next four years.

Father Greiche appreciated as very positive the law passed last year regarding the building of new churches. “It is a law that Christians have been awaiting for a long time,” he said. He also commended the government action against the terrorists attack churches.

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 11:03
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