Egypt grants legal status to over 200 more churches

Thursday, April 28, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has decided to grant legal status to 239 more churches and places of worship, in a move welcomed by Christian rights activists, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports.

Madbouly made the decision following a meeting of the government committee that oversees the legalization of churches in Egypt that he chaired on April 20. The number of legalized churches in Egypt is now 2401.

Unlike Sunni Muslim houses of worship, and those of other faiths of worship, and other religious groups such as the Ahmadi, Baha’i, and Shia communities, under the Church Construction Law (Law No. 80 of 2016), Christian houses of worship must obtain a permit approved by security agencies or provincial governors.

In a statement, CSW Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “CSW welcomes the news of the legalization of more churches. We commend these efforts by the Egyptian authorities, and the personal commitment of President Sisi to improve the situation of Egypt’s Christian community, as well as to commence a political dialogue.

However, in the interests of justice and parity, we continue to call for the provisions and rights granted to the Christian community to be extended to include religious and belief groups that are currently unrecognized.”

Historically it has been difficult for Egyptian churches to obtain legal standing in their predominantly Islamic country: Egypt ranks 20 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.