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St. Markos Church in Cairo
Photo: Flickr / Andrew A. Shenouda (cc)

Until 2016, it was nearly impossible for churches in Egypt to obtain the required licensing to build or restore a building for worship. As a result, many structures were built without a license. With the passing of legislation in September 2016, a government committee was established to work through the large number of applications that were submitted for the legalization of unlicensed church buildings. Although the committee received 3,730 applications, and officially began the approval procedures a year later, the process has been exceedingly slow. See this report for further coverage of this situation.

After the most recent committee decision on August 9th, more than half of the applications have since been approved, with a total of 1,958 church buildings now designated as being legally approved. Unfortunately, at the current rate, it will take more than three years to process the remaining 1,772 applications.

Though the speed of the approval process has been an aggravation for some, we can praise God for what has been accomplished thus far regarding the approval of the 1,958 churches in Egypt. Pray for patient endurance on behalf of the churches still awaiting legalization. May God make a way for the committee to expedite the process, so that the ministry of the remaining churches will no longer be impeded but rather granted the required official status to fully operate and, therefore, further bless the people of their communities.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

Leader
President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.

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Egypt News

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