CAIRO – 26 July 2021: Egypt’s cabinet headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli announced on Sunday legalizing the status of 76 churches and service buildings, bringing the total number of churches and affiliated buildings that have so far been licensed by the committee to 1,958.
This came during the meeting of the committee responsible for legalizing the status of churches chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and attended by Minister of Justice Omar Marwan, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Alaa el Din Fouad, along with officials of the parties concerned, Cabinet Spokesman Nader Saad said.
The committee members discussed the outcome of reviews conducted since its latest meeting on April 12 about the churches and service buildings that demanded legalizing their status, he added.
The Cabinet’s decision to legalize churches comes according to 2016’s article number 80 of the law regulating building churches.
In February 2018, during the term of former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, it was announced that in accordance with the country’s constitution that adopts “the right to practice religious rites within different worship houses,” approval was given to study the cases of 53 churches along with several affiliated buildings to be officially licensed during the Cabinet’s following 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 and fulfilling all the state’s rights regarding the rationing of the land on which such buildings are built. The approval may be withdrawn if the buildings do not finish civil protection facilities in four months.
On January 9, Egypt’s Ministry of Housing issued a decision to allocate lands to establish 37 churches in various new cities, Walid Abbas, assistant housing minister revealed. In an interview with Egypt Today, Abbas said that the government’s New Urban Communities Authority ordered allocating lands for 30 churches in different new cities from 2014 to 2017.
Abbas added that the authority also approved establishing seven other churches in new cities in 2018, besides the Church of Nativity, the Middle East’s biggest church that has been inaugurated in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.