Egypt legalises status of 88 unlicensed churches, service buildings

A presidential committee tasked with rectifying the status of unlicensed Christian places of worship, chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, approved on Monday (August 5th) legalising 88 churches and service buildings that used to be operating without permit, Ahram Online reported.

This brings to 1,109 the total number of unlicensed Christian places of worship and service buildings that have been granted legal status so far in Egypt.

The committee has reviewed the outcome of studies conducted over the past four months to consider applications submitted by unlicensed churches aiming to legalise their status, a government statement said.

Before the church building law was passed in 2016, Christians -- who make up an estimated 10% of Egypt’s population -- had long struggled to obtain permits to build churches, with the process at times taking years.

In January 2018, Egypt's Ministry of Housing allowed Christians to practice religious rites at unlicensed churches, pending their formal recognition.

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