Egypt’s laws are increasingly repressive for Christians

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Egyptian laws brought in since the 2011 revolution have resulted in significant restrictions on religious and other freedoms for Christians in the country, International Christian Concern reported Saturday.

Among the legislation passed over the last 10 years are many laws that deal with state of emergency situations or that increase the powers of Egypt’s President and military, ICC said. States of “emergency” are called quite frequently in the country and these displays of governmental power have increased fears of crackdowns on religious freedom.

Other heavy-handed Egyptian laws include a Criminal Procedure law passed in 2013, allowing indefinite pre-trial incarceration in appeal cases of life imprisonment or capital punishment, ICC reports.

A year after the criminal law was passed, a new Constitution was ratified in 2014, allowing freedoms of thought, assembly, protest, and others only so far as they are done “in accordance with the law.” The generalized language leaves room for extensive legal restrictions on citizens’ personal and community freedoms, ICC notes. Moreover, the 2016 Church Construction Law of 2016 places Christians and Churches under a separate and unequal regulatory system which is unevenly applied and difficult to follow. Christians can also be thrown in prison under the Penal Code for crimes such as blasphemy.

Egypt ranked 20th on the Open Door’s 2021 World Watch List of countries that persecute Christians, ICC said. Open Doors reportedly cited dictatorial paranoia as a reason for the persecution, and for the increasingly repressive laws in Egypt.