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Christian rights' group welcomes Egypt legalisation of 125 churches

A view of the Hanging Church (Al Moallaqa), one of the oldest churches in all of Egypt, in Cairo, Egypt on July 20, 2022. [Mohamed Abdel Hamid - Anadolu Agency]
A view of the Hanging Church (Al Moallaqa), one of the oldest churches in all of Egypt, in Cairo, Egypt on July 20, 2022. [Mohamed Abdel Hamid - Anadolu Agency]

A British-based Christian rights' group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has lauded the Egyptian government's recent decision to legalise dozens of churches in the country, describing it as "encouraging".

On 14 November, the government committee which oversees the status of churches and their affiliated buildings, headed by Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, granted legal status to 125 churches and places of worship. The announcement follows a similar meeting which took place in April which led to the legalisation of 239 churches and places of worship.

"Reports that more churches have been legalised in Egypt, bringing the total of churches and places of worship granted legal status since 2017 to over 2,500, are encouraging," said CSW Founder President, Mervyn Thomas, in a press release.

However, the CSW said that, despite the improvement, "the law remains discriminatory as the same requirements do not apply to Sunni Muslim houses of worship and other religious groups, such as the Ahmadi, Baha'i and Shia communities, are not covered by the Law."

Thomas added that the: "This development is indicative of President Sisi's personal commitment to improve the situation of Egypt's Christian community, and we urge the President and his government to take this further still by ensuring the same provisions and rights currently enjoyed by the Christian community are extended to all religious and belief groups in Egypt."

READ: Muslim population up 44% in England, Wales as Christianity no longer majority

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