Legalisation of 111 unlicensed churches and affiliated buildings approved

09-04-2019 12:30 AM

Madelein Nader

Legalisation of 111 unlicensed churches and affiliated buildings approved

“Egypt’s Cabinet-affiliated committee charged with looking into the status of unlicensed churches has today approved the legalisation of 111 churches and affiliated service buildings that belong to the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Churches in Egypt” Youssef Talaat, representative of the Evangelical Church at the committee, told ++Watani++.

The approval was issued in a meeting over which Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli presided, and during which he gave directions that the committee should speed up its work in order to conclude the task of legalising unlicensed churches and Church-affiliated buildings as soon as possible.

This is the seventh batch of churches to gain legal status, and brings the number of approved churches up to 894 out of an original 3730 that had applied for legality according to the 2016 Law for Building and Restoring Churches. Legalisation becomes final only when the approved churches comply with provisions of structural soundness and civil defence, and pay the required dues.

Until the Law for Building and Restoring Churches was passed in Egypt in September 2016, it was next to impossible for Copts to obtain official licence to build or restore a church. Copts, who direly needed churches in view of the growing congregation and the declining conditions of existing churches, thus resorted to circumventing the law and building churches without licence. The 2016 law includes provisions for legalising unlicensed churches and church-affiliated buildings.

Watani International

8 April 2019

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