The news about 127 churches that were recently legalized by the Egyptian government has brought an unspeakable joy t the Christian community in the country. A committee set up by the Egyptian government approved the legalization of 127 churches that were previously being run in an illegal capacity.
This is coming just a few months after Egypt’s president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi opened the largest Church in Egypt and the Middle East.
A law passed in 2016 hoped to speed up the process of legalization, with thousands of churches being built without a permit and operating in fear of government reprisals.
Prior to the law being passed, it was notoriously difficult to get state approval and, therefore, congregations could find themselves at risk of prosecution.
Since the law passed, some 1,021 have been granted permits by the committee, according to International Christian Concern.
While the committee still has many churches to legalize, this is a promising start for a country in which Coptic Christians have faced fierce levels of violence and persecution for decades.
Recall that Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi early this year inaugurated the country’s largest cathedral and the Largest Church In the Middle East.
According to Persecution watchdog Open Doors USA, the country’s Christians still face daily persecution from groups within the Islamic-majority population, as well as mistreatment from the government itself.
The Islamic culture “fuels discrimination and creates an environment causing the state to be reluctant to respect and enforce the fundamental rights of Christians,” Open Doors explains on its Egypt fact page.
Egypt ranks 16th on Christian support organization Open Doors 2019 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
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Excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East. President El-Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2019