ADVERTISING
 
Monday, January 27   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Religious freedom
 

Egypt approves more than 80 Protestant churches

According to the government, 508 Coptic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic churches have received its approval since February. At the same time, eleven churches were shut down.

SOURCES Christianity Today AUTHOR Evangelical Focus CAIRO 21 DECEMBER 2018 19:05 h GMT+1
Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo./ Egypt scene (CC)

The Egyptian government has legalised 168 new legal church buildings in the country.



The requests of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic churches, to formally register facilities long functioning as centres of worship, were approved on November 30 by a cabinet committee.



A total of 3,730 requests were submitted for approval, pending review of structural soundness and compliance with local regulations.



Last February, the first 53 church buildings were approved, and, according to the government, a total of 508 have received its approval since then.



 



MORE THAN 80 PROTESTANT CHURCHES APPROVED



Egypt’s Protestants have requested the license of 1,070 church buildings. Forty-two were approved in this most recent batch, bringing their total to more than 80.



Prior to the new law passed in August 2016, it was very difficult for churches to be recognised by the government. Local authorities could delay or deny paperwork for licenses, often on security grounds, to placate objections by neighbourhood Muslims.



The law was controversial, but it was designed to streamline the process, allow for judicial review, and transfer final approval from Egypt’s president to local governors.



 



CABINET COMMITTEE TO REVIEW CHURCHES



The law also established a cabinet committee formed by the Prime Minister and the Ministers of justice, housing, antiquities, and others, to review church requests to license existing church facilities.



Andrea Zaki, President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, said he was “pleased”, because “the process has been slow in the beginning, but I think going forward it will be better”.



“The government is gaining steam and taking seriously its obligations under the law. Churches also are becoming more familiar with the required procedures”, Zaki told Christianity Today.



 



“SOMETIMES LOCAL OFFICIALS COMPLICATE THE PROCESS”



However, Ishak Ibrahim, religion officer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), argued that “if the easy cases have taken this long, what happens when they consider the difficult ones”.



According to Ibrahim, the process is slow because “sometimes local officials complicate the paperwork and other times, the government yields to the security situation if local Muslim neighbours object”.



 



ELEVEN CHURCHES SHUT DOWN



Although the 2016 law prohibits closure of a church where worship was previously conducted, the EIPR released a report stating that since the cabinet committee began its work, there have been 15 churches under review.



Eleven churches were subsequently shut down; only two had the issues solved.



Additionally, the government has prosecuted attacks on Copts; last month, a court gave the death penalty to an alleged ISIS supporter who murdered a Coptic doctor.



 



“CHURCH APPROVALS ARE GOOD SIGNS”



“These sentences show the government is serious in applying citizenship. Too often in the past, no one would be held accountable”, said Zaki.



The President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt recognised that “there are certain problems in certain villages in Upper Egypt, and radicals exploit them to create more difficulties”.



“We need to deal with them wisely, but the court verdicts and the church approvals are good signs”.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Egypt approves more than 80 Protestant churches
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election

Many hope their effort will inspire a new generation of political representatives with a strong Christian faith. “God has a long-term plan”.

 
Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate? Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate?

“There is no biblical reason for the imposition of celibacy as the status of pastors or priests”, says Vatican expert and evangelical theologian Leonardo De Chirico.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.