© Fides

Egypt: Government Renovates and Regulates 500 Churches

Buildings Destroyed by ‘Muslim Brotherhood’

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On the occasion of the inauguration of the national social construction plan in recent days President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi renewed his commitment regarding the renovation of churches destroyed by the “Muslim Brotherhood”: a dossier that was neglected by the previous governments, according to a December 17, 2018, report by Fides News Agency. At the same time, the government is working to legalize other Christian holy buildings and is granting permits for the construction of new Coptic churches and institutes.
The churches in Egypt have had to initiate restructuring and modernization projects to erase the consequences of the “Muslim Brotherhood” attacks, that have hit holy places since August 2013. On the whole, there have been 90 attacks in various places in the country, mostly in Minya, but also in the regions of Asyut, Fayoum, Giza, Suez, Sohag, Luxor and Beni Suef. The renovation and adaptation of buildings to normative references had begun in the churches in Minya affected by acts of vandalism, but also in social, hospital and educational facilities in Suez, Beni Suef and Giza.
The government of al-Sisi paid great attention to the theme of the construction of churches: the bill, approved on August 30, 2016, was the first concerning Christian buildings of worship that, in the past 100 years were built and regulated by a decree dating back to the Ottoman era. The regularization, sanctioned by a new decree signed by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, ratified the full compatibility of places of worship with the parameters defined by the new legal provisions.
In previous statements, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria said that the current government “is healing scars left by deep wounds, considered necessary for the stability of society and to affirm the values of genuine citizenship”.
Currently 2,500 land registry documents provided by the Coptic Orthodox Church, regarding the identification and architecture of several churches and liturgical halls distributed throughout the country are being examined, where religious rites have been held for years without the necessary authorizations to regularize their position.

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