Licensing of Egyptian Churches Reaches Halfway Mark

April 16, 2021

Authorities passed the halfway mark in the task of licensing churches in Egypt on April 12, when 82 new registrations were approved.

The granting of the 19th batch of licenses brings the number of churches and affiliated service buildings granted official recognition to 1,882 out of the original 3,730 that applied more than four years ago.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli, right, presided over the committee as the 82 new registrations were approved, taking the task passed the halfway mark [Image credit: en.wataninet.com]

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli (right) presided over the committee as the 82 new registrations were approved, taking the task past the halfway mark. [Image credit: en.wataninet.com]

It leaves a total of 1,848 churches still waiting to be granted licenses under the Law for Building and Restoring Churches, introduced in September 2016.

Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli, who heads the Cabinet-level committee set up in 2017 to oversee the licensing task, urged the authorities involved to swiftly clear the backlog of unregistered buildings. Progress was slowed last year when the Covid-19 crisis forced the committee to take a five-month break.

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 committee began work in early 2017, it was extremely difficult to obtain a license.

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