In a landmark decision, an Egyptian court ruled that churches may not be demolished or used for any purpose other than worship, basing on an opinion by al-Azhar that churches are equivalent to mosques which, by law may not be demolished or converted to another use.
An administrative court in Alexandria has ruled that a Greek Orthodox church in Rashid (Rosetta) which had been sold off to an individual may not be demolished. The court said that the there is a Constitutional Court decision since 12 years ago that churches and mosques are both places of worship that must be treated on equal footing, and that rulings by the Constitutional Court supersede all others.
The Alexandria court also referred to the topmost Islamic authority, al-Azhar, for its opinion on the matter; the reply given was that non-Muslims in Muslim countries were entitled to protection of their places of worship; churches may thus not be demolished or used for any purpose other than that they were built for.
30 March 2016