Egypt agrees to draft law allowing Christians to build, renovate churches

Talks between the two bodies came after the church had decried the government's ‘unacceptable amendments’ to the draft

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The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church announced on Thursday that it had finally reached an agreement with the government over a draft law pertaining to the construction and renovation of churches throughout the country, Egyptian newspaper Ahram Online reported.

The announcement followed a meeting on Wednesday hosted by the Church between 105 Coptic bishops to discuss the ramifications of the government’s “unacceptable amendments.”

Talks were also held with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Sherif Ismael, whose cooperation prompted the religious body to release another statement on Thursday.

"The Holy Synod announces, in good faith, [that it has reached] a compromise formula [of the law] with government representatives," the church said.

Awaiting ratification

The Church added that it is looking forward to seeing the new law implemented following the cabinet’s approval and final ratification by parliament.

This is not the first issue the Church has encountered. It says that Egypt’s estimated 15 million Copts face more hurdles in seeking government-sanctioned projects than their Muslim-majority counterparts.

The Church hopes that, once passed, the revised draft will lessen the bureaucratic pitfalls faced by those hoping to launch construction and renovation projects.

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