(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
St. George's Church in Cairo
The Coptic church traces its presence in Egypt back to the first century.
Photo: Flickr / Edgardo W. Olivera (cc)

In 2016, a government committee was established in Egypt to work through more than 3,700 applications for the legalization of previously unlicenced church buildings. While the process has been slow, since that time almost 2,000 church buildings have been legally approved. (For more details, see this previously posted report.)

The response from those of the Muslim community who oppose the legalization process has frequently resulted in protests. On June 23rd, a large mob protested the legal authorization of the Church of Michael the Archangel in al-Hilla, a village in Upper Egypt. The church building, which was erected in 2003, continued to function without an official licence until its recent approval. Anticipating problems over the announcement, security forces had been dispatched to guard the church building. A large mob instead destroyed numerous homes, businesses and vehicles in the area before peace was finally restored.

Many of the protesters insisted that the church building contradicts Islamic law, citing the "Conditions of Omar" – a mandate that originated with Caliph Omar I in AD 637. The document dictated, among other things, that Christians and Jews living in subjugation to Muslims were forbidden from building or repairing any of their places of worship.

Pray that there will be peace throughout Egypt, especially in areas where opposing beliefs and worldviews between citizens have clashed to the point of causing violent destruction and injury. May the Christians residing in this northeast African nation be filled with wisdom, endurance and spiritual strength, so they can respond to all those around them – including the community members opposing them – with the love of Jesus. Also pray that the appointed government committee will continue to expedite the process of granting long-sought approvals so more churches can receive their official legal status.

Current Ministry Project

VOMC works with international partners to provide a safe place of refuge, counsel and discipleship for Christians from Muslim backgrounds who were forced to flee their homes due to religious pressure from their families, and/or have experienced ostracization from others in their communities because of their identity in Christ.

Project Fund: Underground Church

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.

end

Select a Region

Egypt News

  • More Church Buildings Licenced
    Crosses atop a church.
    A church in Egypt.
    Photo: VOMC

    While the Egyptian government formed a committee in September 2016 to work through 3,730 applications to legalize unlicenced church buildings, the process has been slow. When VOMC last reported on the situation in September 2021, there were still 1,772 applications rem

    ...
  • Christian Father and Son Slain by Terrorists
    A shaded path leading to a church entry
    A Coptic church.
    Photo: Flickr / jipolo (cc)

    A Christian man and his elderly father were shot dead by Islamic terrorists on August 30th while working in their field. Police found the bodies of 40-year-old Hani Waheeb Moussa and his father Salama after family members had lost contact with them. Han

    ...
  • Mob Violence Erupts After Official Approval of Church
    St. George's Church in Cairo
    The Coptic church traces its presence in Egypt back to the first century.
    Photo: Flickr / Edgardo W. Olivera (cc)

    In 2016, a government committee was established in Egypt to work through more than 3,700 applications for the legalization of previously unlicenced church buildings. While the process

    ...
  • Christian Appointed Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court
    Supreme Constitutional Court building
    Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt
    Photo: Wikipedia / Ahmad Badr (cc)

    On February 9th, the Egyptian president officially swore in the new head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court: Boulos (Paul) Fahmy Eskandar. Judge Eskandar is the first Coptic Christian to be appointed to this positi

    ...