AFRICA/EGYPT - The bill on the construction of churches under the consideration of the Council of State

Monday, 29 August 2016


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Department of the Egyptian Council of State in charge of evaluating the legislative work has begun its review of the new draft law on the construction of churches, whose latest version was prepared by the government last Thursday, August 25. The audit of the State Council - report the Egyptian media - began on Saturday, August 27. After having passed the scrutiny of the Council of State, the draft law will be submitted for final approval by the Egyptian parliament.
The Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church had expressed its consent to the proposed law only on Wednesday, August 24. An acceptance marked by many doubts (see Fides 27/08/2016). Within the Egyptian Christian community, many critical remarks are addressed mainly to Article 5 of the bill, which states that the construction of new churches is authorized by governors "with the necessary coordination of the authories concerned". Many fear that this indefinite term will allow local authorities and security forces to exercise more vetoes on the construction of new buildings of Christian worship, especially in the areas marked by sectarian conflicts. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/08/2016)