Egypt has given approval to the legalization of 127 congregations that were previously operating without a government permit. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), the approval for the churches came through a committee that the majority Muslim nation created in 2016 when more than 3000 permits were being sought. “The committee was created to streamline the legalization process for churches. Egypt has a long history of regulating the building of churches, but many churches were not able to complete this process. Instead, they were built illegally,” explained ICC. The Committee is overseen by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
Critics of the committee have argued that it is moving too slowly in its granting of approval for the church buildings still on the list awaiting legalization. “The 2016 law was supposed to make it easier for new churches to go through the legalization process,” added ICC. “However, President Sisi’s government has a worse record than his predecessors when it comes to approving new church buildings. Though President el-Sisi has publicly expressed his commitment to protecting Christians, his government’s actions and extremist groups’ continued Christian persecution attacks on individuals and churches, leaving Christians feeling insecure and extremely cautious.”
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