102 Egyptian churches granted legal status

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail on Monday (April 16th) approved the legalising of 102 churches and 64 church-associated buildings during a meeting with a regulating committee tasked with reviewing and legalising unlicensed churches, Egyptian media reported.

For decades, Egyptian Christians have congregated at unlicensed churches due to the difficulty in obtaining church building licences.

In January, the Ministry of Housing issued an order allowing Christians to practice their religious rites at unlicensed churches pending legalisation procedures.

In 2016, the government passed a law easing regulations around obtaining licences for building Christian houses of worship.

Before the law was passed, the country's Christians, who make up an estimated 10% of Egypt's population, had faced a lengthy process to obtain building permits for churches.

Monday's decision involves churches across several governorates.

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