Egypt to legalise status of 120 unlicensed churches

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read

The legal status of 127 churches and service buildings that used to be operating without permit, has been legalised on Monday, according to state-media.

A presidential committee, headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, was tasked with legalising the status of unlicensed Christian places of worship.

When the newly legalised churchs will be licensed, the total number of unlicensed Christian places of worship and service buildings that have been granted legal status so far will reach up to 1021.

Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad said on Monday that the committee meetings were held in the presence of the ministers of justice, antiquities, and parliamentary affairs, along with representatives of the bodies concerned.

During the meeting, the officials reviewed the outcome of studies conducted over the past four months to consider applications submitted by unlicensed churches aiming to legalize their status.

Meanwhile, the cabinet issued strict instructions to all governors to take all measures necessary to ensure that the newly legalized churches and service buildings are only used for performing religious rituals.

In August 2016, the Egyptian Parliament passed a new law on the construction of churches in an effort to ease the process of obtaining a license to build a church.

Egypt’s former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail called for the ‘speeding up’ of the process of legalizing unlicensed churches.

In January 2017, the cabinet decided to form a committee for church conciliation to work according to the new law.

Before the approval of church construction in 2016, the law of the Ottoman Empire governed the process of church building in Egypt, which required complex approvals to build a new church.

However, the recent law reportedly solved all these obstacles, and attempts to license churches built years ago, in coordination between the two sides, security and churches were finally possible.

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