The Cabinet of Egypt has passed legislation that purports to legalize 166 church properties throughout the nation that ranks as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to Christian persecution.
The English-language magazine Egypt Today reports that the chief executive body of the Arab Republic approved legislation that was proposed by a committee established in 2017 to specifically study church applications submitted by Christians to gain legal statuses for their places of worship.
The committee was established after a law was passed in 2016 that aimed to protect Christian churches.
The law was cause for skepticism for some international human rights activists but was seen as at least a positive step by some Coptic Christians who said that it would hopefully force regional governments to provide a “justified decision” should they refuse to authorize a church.
The Middle East News Agency tallies the numbers at 102 churches and 64 church service buildings that will receive legal status as a result of a cabinet meeting Monday that was chaired by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.
The agency notes that on Feb. 26, then-acting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly ordered that the review of the churches’ compliance with civil law be prioritized.
According to MENA, there are over 3,500 churches awaiting approval. Prior to the authorization of the 166 buildings, only 53 church properties had been approved for licensing.
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Source: Christian Post