Another 82 licences granted to Egyptian churches in first batch of 2020
Licences were granted to 82 church and church-affiliated buildings in Egypt on 11 February by the committee that has been overseeing the process since early 2017.
The 14th batch of approvals is slightly down on the 90 licences granted by the committee at its previous meeting on 31 December. The number of churches licensed now stands at 1,494, out of the original 3,730 that applied for registration.
Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli chaired the licensing committee meeting, which included ministers of justice, local development, housing and parliamentary affairs. Christian leaders also attended.
A total of 2,236 churches are still awaiting approval under the Law for Building and Restoring Churches that was introduced in September 2016. A number of churches were already licensed before the new law was brought in. It is illegal to worship in an unlicensed church building, but until the new law was introduced in 2016 it was extremely difficult to obtain a licence.