FILE – Church cross against the sky – Public Domain Pictures/Peter Griffin
CAIRO – 31 December 2018: The committee concerned with legalizing unlicensed churches announced on Monday legalizing as many as 80 churches and church-affiliated service buildings.
Approving licensing the churches came at a meeting on Monday headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Currently, the total number of regularized churches and their affiliated service buildings amounts to 588.
Nader Saad, Cabinet spokesman, said in a statement that the committee reviewed the outcome of legalizing the status of unlicensed churches nationwide over the past period.
The Cabinet’s decision comes according to 2016's article number 80 in Egypt’s law regarding regulating and building churches. Antiquities and parliament affairs ministers as well as representatives of relevant bodies participated in the meeting.
In October, 76 churches and 44 affiliated buildings were licensed.
It was stated in February, during the term of former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, that in accordance with the country’s constitution that adopts “the right to practice religious rites within the different worship houses,” approval was given to study the cases of 53 churches along with several affiliated buildings to be legalized and licensed officially during the Cabinet’s next meeting.
Several conditions were laid in the statement for the churches to be finally recognized by the government as legal religious buildings. These conditions include meeting the requirements for civil protection within a period of four months, as well as fulfilling all the state's rights regarding the rationing of land on which such buildings are built.
The approval may be withdrawn if the buildings do not finish civil protection facilities in four months.