A church has been built in Egypt’s new prison complex in Wadi al-Natroun in the Western Desert, some 100km northwest Cairo. This is the first time ever in Egypt that a prison includes a church.
The Church has always been allowed to grant pastoral care to Christian prisoners, and to celebrate Mass with them in prison, but this was always done in some room or hall designated by the prison authorities. The recently built church is a first in Egyptian prisons.
The new prison complex, named Correction and Rehabilitation Centre, is the first of a series of modern prisons planned across the country. It will accommodate the inmates of 12 current Egyptian prisons which represent 25 per cent of Egypt’s prisons. The 12 prisons will then be closed and their sites exploited for investment purposes. Given that the value of the sites exceeds the cost of building and operating the new prisons, the government will not be burdened with any financial load in establishing the modern prison complexes.
Modern design and technology have been employed to build the new prison in which new, modern correction and rehabilitation methods will be applied. The prison cells have been designed to offer reasonable space, and natural light and aeration; the prison includes places of worship—a mosque and church, spaces for learning and hobbies, sports halls and courts, and workshops to offer vocational and technical training.
1 November 2021