Egypt registers 239 churches, its largest single batch

21 April 2022

Egypt registered its largest single batch of churches and church-affiliated buildings on 20 April.

A total of 239 licences were granted by the committee overseeing the process, its biggest number since the licensing process began.

The first batch of 53 approvals was granted in February 2018.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli, centre, presides over the licensing committee [Image credit: Watani]

The 23rd batch brings the number of churches granted licences to 2,401 out of the 3,730 that applied for registration after a new Law for Building and Restoring Churches removed Ottoman-era restrictions on church buildings in 2016.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli, who presides over the committee, has previously told members to speed up their work to clear the backlog of unlicensed church buildings as swiftly as possible. At its previous meeting in January, members approved 141 churches.

Before the committee started work in late 2017 it was extremely difficult for churches to obtain a licence and many congregations had no option but to worship illegally in unlicensed buildings.

In early 2018 the Egyptian government permitted Christians to worship in unregistered buildings pending the completion of the licensing process.

Give thanks for the work of the licensing committee and pray that it will complete its work swiftly. Pray that the situation will continue to improve for our brothers and sisters in Egypt and that the licensing process will reduce hostility towards the Christian community.

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