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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 remaining (see this page). On November 14th, the most recent batch of approvals was made public, announcing the official licencing of 125 churches and other buildings affiliated with Christian ministry. With these latest authorizations, 2,526 of the 3,730 applications have now been approved.

While the registration process in recent years has been long and tedious, some observers perceive a changing attitude towards Christianity in Egypt. As reported in an editorial from Barnabas Fund, several Egyptian followers of Jesus state that their situation is now better than it has been in living memory. In fact, some have welcomed the safety measures brought in through the licencing process. "We are very thankful for the care being shown to our community by the cabinet committee and we are working closely with them to ensure that all the legalized churches are safe for worshippers and those who live around them," states one church leader.

Regrettably, not all Egyptians support the increasing freedoms being granted to the Christian members of society, and so persecution does continue. To review past reports addressing the challenges of Christians in Egypt, go to our country report.

Praise God for the ongoing changes that have been implemented over recent years to improve the treatment of Christians in Egypt, even though the progress made thus far has been slow and steady. As a result, may relations between Christians and Muslims in local areas improve considerably as well, and may leaders representing the country's various levels of government continue to take positive measures for the promotion of peace and equality. Finally, pray that the approval process of the remaining church applications will be streamlined to prevent any further unnecessary delays.

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.

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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

    ...